October is the rainy month and the rivers are running high.
What do we do when it is raining here? We research, paint, do carpentry, cook and eat great meals, and take Spanish lessons. Luke, Frank, Kailen, Tom and Linda are all taking lessons. Necesitamos mucha practica!
Alex our Spanish teacher, and snake tamer!
Gourmet dinner at the Casa - East Indian Curry
There seems to be many animals out and about. We have seen: spider monkeys, squirrels, an armadillo, tayra, opossums, Palm viper snake(venemous – Bothriechis lateralis) , another snake that is orange called a liophis epinephalus, and a nest of angry bees.
Liophis epinephalus - Found by Tom's House (not venemous)
Palm Viper - He was enjoying the Gavalon cabin (venemous)
We are fortunate to have three researchers here. Kailen from the US, Luke from South Africa, and Frank from the Netherlands.
This month Frank arrived. Frank is a student from Holland and he is interested in Soil and Water Conservation related practices. He is studying Land and Water Management at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. Frank will be here for 3 months to do research on erosion of different land use forms. This research which is an internship will take place in the reserve Cloudbridge. He is going to analyze the erosion rates along the pasture fields and compare them with those of the forest. He wants to see as much as possible of the country and is hoping to have a amazing time here.
Luke is investigating the potential use of PES mechanisms to promote farmer participation in erosion control and improved watershed management. This will focus on the valleys between San Gerardo and Rivas, with specific focus on the strategic use of reforestation within pasture lands and riparian zones
Rivers are a critical habitat because they provide life-sustaining water, both for the local wildlife and for the humans who live by their banks. Unfortunately, the water flowing into those rivers is sometimes polluted. Using dissolved oxygen as an indicator of biological activity, Kailen is attempting to determine whether the water flowing from a particular spring is significantly impacted by its course through a cattle pasture. At the same time, she is using rough measures of water volume to determine whether most of the water reaching the river originates from the stream or from runoff. Runoff will bring dissolved nutrients and organic solids from the surrounding lands, and so increases the chance of contamination from the pasture.
Tom assisting Kailen with a water test
Testing the oxygen levels in the streams
Photos from our hike to Vulture Rock.
Tom crossing the suspension bridge
Linda with Catarata Cloudbridge In the background. Typical tourist photo
Two more amigos. Frank and Luke
Massive Leaning tree on the Talamanca Reserve
Cloudbridge rolls out Cloudbridge Adventures, http://cloudbridgeadventures.org/ please pass the web page on to any high school or college students and/or teachers/professors. Cloudbridge Adventures offers a group program as well as three summer sessions for individual students.