Monday, March 6, 2017

Peccaries, Capuchins and Coatis! Oh my!

Often, in nature shows or in paintings of the wilderness, myriad animals are depicted relatively close to one another, so that they can all appear in a single frame. However, this is generally not the case in real life. In my experience, animals, especially larger ones, tend to be spread out and often are rare, such as big cats or bears. The only large animal I’ll see in abundance in my home state of Maryland will be white-tailed deer. However, Palo Verde has been a completely different experience. Simply by opening the door and stepping out I can see the stunning diversity of the national park.
Earlier today, I stepped out of the comedor, or cafeteria, and saw two collared peccaries foraging in the shrubs on the edge of the forest, a white-faced capuchin flashing a toothy smile from its nearby perch, a coati climbing a tree about twenty paces down towards the marsh, all the while a large ctenosaur basked peacefully in the sun nearby. It truly is unique and wonderful to be able to sit in a class and learn about the startling diversity this place holds, and then actually walk out the front door and casually see it all around.
Equally exciting, and at times terrifying, is the diversity spotted simply by walking from my room to the bathroom to brush my teeth before going to bed. In a single trip to and from the bathroom I saw a Chagas bug, a millipede, countless wolf spiders, a scorpion taking down a gecko, and a tarantula hiding under the entrance to the bathroom. Keep in mind that the bathroom is only a minute’s walk from my room. That this is one of the most unique experiences I will have in my life is not lost on me in the slightest. I write this now on the last night of my stay in Palo Verde National Park, and I will truly miss seeing the ecology and diversity that exists just outside my door (and sometimes crawls under it in the middle of the night).
Luca Grifo-Hahn, Saint Mary's College of Maryland

1 comment:

  1. aww this looks like a lovely monkey couple! so cute and adorable, love the first picture alot! i still have to read your content. im loving your blog so far, stay awesome.