August 2020

This handsome mottled owl was hanging out with us the other day as we were hiking through the reserve to change the camera traps. Quite inquisitive!

August has been another quiet month here at Cloudbridge Nature Reserve. The classroom and dorms for the researchers have never since they were built, been so quiet and lonely for such a long period of time.  We are hopeful that now that Costa Rica has opened its borders to certain countries and US states, more researchers and volunteers will come to spend time at the reserve.  Students who are choosing to take a gap year before continuing with University are also invited to continue learning and accruing relevant experience with us at Cloudbridge during this time.  For more information about our internship and volunteer programs, please visit our website.

Volunteers and interns have the opportunity to assist with ongoing projects in the reserve, or conduct their own research, assisted by our scientific coordinator. Here, our director Casey poses with a tree on her way to changing a camera trap.

We are very thankful for all who have supported our crowdfunding campaign! This has been a lifeline for us during these trying times. If you have not already done so, I encourage you to please contribute and help us meet our operating costs during this period that we cannot depend on our usual sources of income. You can also donate on our website or contact us. Thank you once more for your support!!

This glasswing butterfly is one of many, many animals who will benefit from your generous donation!
A piglet frog (Craugastor podiciferus), blending into the leaf litter of the forest floor.

Though we have not had volunteers and interns over the last couple of months, we have been improving and building upon the infrastructure that they will be using! We are looking forward to welcoming back researchers as soon as possible, and are well-equipped to provide a safe, welcoming space!

The beauty of the cloudforest never fails to impress. Since it is difficult to photograph the magnificence of these gorgeous trees, sometimes it is useful to focus on the details…

One of the perks of reaching out to people with our fundraising campaign, has been hearing back from people who spent time at Cloudbridge years ago. We are grateful to Joel Firebrace, who had this to say: » Send my regards to the compost bin. I helped bring him into the world. Don’t forget to feed him regularly. He likes eating banana peel, egg shells, and orange skins. He’s vegetarian, so don’t give him any meat since it attracts coatis who like to clamber into his tummy and have a good rummage around inside. That said, he does like a good belly scratch from the inside using a pitchfork – it helps him digest. Oh and make sure his tummy worms are happy.» Yes, Joel, we have been taking good care of the compost bins, thank you for your efforts!

Community Carbon Trees has a long history of supporting rural communities in their reforestation efforts, with an innovative model that supports people as well as the environment. They were involved in reforestation efforts at Cloudbridge many years ago, and continue to support us, most recently with a generous donation of trees. We are very grateful, and have already put them into the ground, taking advantage that we still have some months of rainy season left!

We hope that you are coming to expect a special fungi section in each of our monthly blogs, because we are always blessed with a diverse abundance of these important organisms that fulfill important roles in the ecosystem of the cloudforest. The interconnected mycelium of fungi provide an interconnected network, sometimes called the wood-wide web… We are very excited to announce that along with the local interns Leonardo and Daniel Valverde, we are hoping to put together a field guide to the mushrooms of Cloudbridge soon. Until then, you will just need to be patient with the lack of names!

Suggested Reading

  • Though this article by Bill McKibben is written with a focus of perspective from the United States, it is a very interesting article on the urgency of political action regarding climate change.
  • Given the state of climate emergency and the many people whose lives have been affected, sometimes to the point of migration, this exploration of the term climate refugee seems quite relevant.
  • As has become increasingly apparent, Australia is at the frontlines of the climate crisis. Australian youth are demanding an education that will equip them with the tools to face the new reality they will face as the leaders of tomorrow. Read more here.
  • On a brighter note, did you know that bees can manage their sources of pollen? In this study, researchers observed bees biting plants, prompting them to flower 7 days earlier.
  • This lovely interview with author Richard Powers touches on many of the topics he explored in his lovely book The Overstory.
  • Just in case you missed it, please be sure to check out this lovely video of Cloudbridge Nature Reserve. Feel free to comment or like!

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