October 2013

The Peaks of Uran against an unusual blue sky for Octoberblog4

The rainiest month of the year has been a mixed bag of some sunny days, some cloudy days, and some very rainy days.  It does seem though that we are getting less moisture throughout this rainy season.  Hopefully it will be sufficient to give a decent start for all of our young seedlings that were planted this year.

October was a busy month as we had to clear property lines and conduct new surveys in order to qualify for the Costa Rican program  Payment for Environmental Services.

Education and Tree Planting:

Cloudbridge took part in judging an environmental  art competition at the San Gerardo de Rivas school.  The students from kindergarten to grade 6 painted their impressions of an ideal environment.  At this event ICE-The Institute for Costa Rican Electricity donated trees at the school for all of the Bandera Azul representatives to plant.

Linda judging at the art competition - a difficult job
Linda judging at the art competition – a difficult job
Grade 1 art
Grade 1 art
 
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Cloudbridge along with Rolando Zuñiga organized a community tree planting day.  Tree planters from the San Gerardo area included representatives  from The Hotel Uran, Hotel Pelicano, Hotel Casa Mariposa, Hotel Roca Dura, Hotel Descanso and Cloudbridge.  We planted 200 trees along the Chirripo Trail in an area that had been deforested and never replanted.  In the future these trees will help control erosion along the trail, give shade to hikers and attract wildlife.

On the way up for Community Tree Planting

On the way up for Community Tree Planting

Community Tree Planters

Community Tree Planters

Tree Planters

Tree Planters

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Other tree planting took place on the reserve along the river trail and up the ridge of the Montana trail.

Cloudbridge  hosted Professor Lourdes business administration class from Costa Rica’s Universidad Nacional in San Isidro.  40 students joined our volunteers for a morning of tree planting and later a presentation by our volunteer Christine about Cloudbridge and the environmental projects at the reserve.  These students come from throughout southern Costa Rica to study at this university.  Thanks to Christine’ strong Spanish skills we were able to provide a great classroom experience in addition to the morning in the forest.
Students from the Universidad Nacional, Costa Rica

Students from the Universidad Nacional, Costa Rica

Cloudbridge volunteers, Tom and Linda also went out and various times of the month to finish off the planting for the season.  It is the last of the planting for the year as the rainy season subsides.  There were approximately 2000 trees planted in 2013.

Researchers and Volunteers:

Sama and Matt presented their research on Carbon Monitoring at Cloudbridge. They had measured the height and DBH of every tree greater than 10 cm in the 1 hectare Smithsonian plot on the reserve. It was a massive job.  Here are some interesting findings and facts about Carbon storage:

›1,232 metric tons CO2 in the hectare
›130 ha of old-growth in Cloudbridge
›~160,000 tons CO2 stored in old-growth forest in Cloudbridge
›One wide-body jet emits ~1200 metric tons CO2 in 6 round trip journeys between NYC and San Jose
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Some new faces this month:
Kelby Jennings (Australia)  and Mark Alexander (Germany) are both  loving swinging the machetes and have been out helping clear vegetation for the property line surveys and around the young seedlings.  They have also been working in the vivero (tree nursery), tree planting and mulching, and odd jobs around the yard.
Kelby

Kelby

Mark

Mark

Heather Waller (England) and Matt Smokoska (US) are interns from the organization GVI.  They are doing the biological survey for Cloudbridge for the next 2 months.  They have been recording their findings of fauna on daily surveys of the trails as well as checking camera traps.    Matt has also been out in the evenings searching for and photographing all kinds of creatures.

Heather

Heather

Matt

Matt

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Tom and Linda  have had a busy month with electrical issues, property surveys, volunteer orientatations, the Bandera Azul final documents (about 90 pages), and organizing tree planting and maintenance schedules.   October was supposed to be a tranquilo month! Not so.

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Flora and Fauna:

Caterpillar - photo by Matt Smokoska

Caterpillar – photo by Matt Smokoska

Glass Frog - photo by Matt Smokoska

Glass Frog – photo by Matt Smokoska

Masked Tityra ,  Tityra semifasciata   - photo by Matt Smokoska

Masked Tityra , Tityra semifasciata – photo by Matt Smokoska

Insect?

Insect?

Spider with larvae attached

Spider with larvae attached

unidentified armoured insect - photo by Matt Smokoska

unidentified armoured insect – photo by Matt Smokoska

unidentified insect - photo by Matt Smokoska

unidentified insect – photo by Matt Smokoska

unidentified insect camouflaged as lichen?

unidentified insect camouflaged as lichen?

 

In the Garden - photo by Matt Smokoska

In the Garden – photo by Matt Smokoska

Yellow and Black - photo by Matt Smokoska

Yellow and Black – photo by Matt Smokoska

Lichen Katydid, Markia hystrix

Lichen Katydid, Markia hystrix