Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Mountain Lion on The Big Tree Loop, May 2017

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

This video of a Mountain Lion (Puma concolor) was taken May 2017 with our camera traps at the junction of The Big Tree Loop and Cenizo Trails. Probably the same individual, he passed both night and day. Many of this cat’s prey was also captured by the light trap; Agouti, Paca, Spotted Woodquail, Possum.

Collared Trogon at Nest Cavity

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

trogon male 2 -1782

trogon male -1364 (2)

Thank You Polina Vishkautsan for these amazing photos of a Collared Trogon. Polina is a photographer who was part of Albert Thurman’s last group visiting Mount Totumas in April. The trogon nest was up at 1950m and Polina and I set up a blind the day before. The following morning Polina headed up at 6am and waited patiently several hours in the blind in order to capture these two images.

Albert brought a group of amazing photographers and artists. More pics and drawings to follow!

Lodge to Lodge Hiking

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017

Here is a video and pics. of a recent Lodge to Lodge hike that starts at Finca Hartman then on to Cotito Lodge and finishing at Mount Totumas Cloud Forest. This is a 10 mile hike where you can combine staying in all three lodges. Elevation range 1400-2000m Great tour for trekkers and bird watchers.

Thank you Jorge Lopez for putting together this video. Jorge works as a wilderness guide for Baru Expeditions.

Lodge to Lodge route1





Vine Oncidium Orchid

Thursday, December 1st, 2016


One of the our trees heavily laden with epiphytes fell down a couple years ago and we found this fascinating Oncidium sp. orchid that grows as a vine. Every couple of inches a complete small pseudo bulb with leaves repeats along the wire like vine that wraps itself through the branches of the tree and among all the other epiphytes. We took a large pile of this vine and tossed it on top of a post near the Homestead. It’s now 3 years growing here and seems very happy in its new home. There is something always joyous about taking a doomed epiphyte from the shady forest floor and giving them a 2nd chance, especially when they thrive.




The Hummingbird Deck

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

Using branches and vines we took from a fallen oak tree we created a display on the new deck of the homestead where we attached orchids and bromeliads and other epiiphytes. We then added feeders and this has become a major attraction for guests.  Check out the diversity of hummingbirds here at Mount Totumas on this video.


Spider Monkeys on Mexican Elm

Friday, November 18th, 2016

We made a post awhile back about a troupe of Howler Monkeys on the emergent Mexican Elm Tree in front of the deck of The Bellbird Lodge. Well, today we had a troupe of Spider Monkeys visiting the same tree. Here is some video footage.

Notice the nice seen of preening by the pair at the top of the tree.  These are highly acrobatic monkeys and a lot of fun to watch.


Yellow-Thighed Finch

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

This Yellow-Thighed Finch was flying up to the window at its reflection and then started displaying. Check out how he flashes his yellow pompom thighs at his reflection.

Yoga Retreat Nov 26 -Dec 2, 2016

Monday, October 24th, 2016


Cloud Forest Yoga + Hiking Retreat
Nov. 26 – Dec. 2, 2016

Join Yasmin Fudakowska-Gow, experienced yoga teacher, naturopathic doctor and ayurvedic practitioner, at Mount Totumas for an unforgettable life changing retreat.

Yoga. Meditation. Hiking. Ayurveda. Nature Retreat.

Imagine waking up in our Cloud Forest and practicing yoga and meditation overlooking the rainforest canopy. This is a perfect opportunity to unplug, connect to nature, meet nice people and deepen your practice with expert guidance.

The yoga offered is a slow but steady, vinyasa flow practice that will be workshop style and therapeutic focused. All levels of yoga students are welcome as practices are tailored to suit the individual needs and interests of each student.

Your host, Yasmin, is a Guinness World Record holder for the longest yoga marathon and has taught yoga internationally for over 16 years. Originally from Montreal, she is known for her soulful, yet practical style of teaching. Yasmin offers unique experiences enriched by ayurveda, poetry, music, dance and nature.

Joining Yasmin in teaching is ashtanga yoga teacher Carlo Kuhlenschimdt, who also has a background in restorative yoga and thai yoga massage, and is avid outdoor enthusiast.

We are at the foothills of many hiking trails varying levels of challenge and there will be guided hiking tours available daily. There will be plenty of free time to read, write, nap and recharge. You will also be able to enjoy natural hot springs and take a coffee plantation tour if you’d like.

Your evening sessions will be calming and restoring. Yasmin will share ayurvedic healing principles and Carlo will lead yin and restorative postures and demonstrate thai yoga massage techniques to help ease potentially sore muscles from hiking!

Your accommodations are ultra comfortable and your meals are all taken care of. We have private and shared rooms available, many with magnificent views of the mountains. The menu has been carefully prepared with wholesome, delicious meals for all dietary needs.

Yasmin and her family live part of the year in Panama, so this is your chance to experience Panama like a local.

Whether you come solo or with a friend, you will immediately be made to feel at home and at ease in this beautiful setting and wonderful community. We do all the extra touches to make your experience truly memorable.

For more information, please contact Yasmin : or visit her website

Harvesting Timber from the forest floor; Mexican Elm “Cenizo”

Saturday, September 17th, 2016

One of the emergent trees in the canopy of 2nd growth and old growth forests here is the Mexican Elm Ulmus mexicana. When an ancient tree falls to the forest floor the timber remains intact for decades as this tree is very rot resistant and very hard. When you mill the wood in dimensions smaller than 4×6 beams it tends to warp which is why these trees were not harvested years ago when this valley was timbered. The Mexican Elm is an excellent wood however for joists and columns.

We are now building again, starting our last structure here at Mount Totumas Cloud Forest. So we are harvesting the wood of this ancient Mexican Elm.

Opening up the ancient trunk reveals clean solid wood




See this big slab? We’ll come to this in a few months and show you where this will end up!


Lepidopteran Dreams

Monday, September 5th, 2016

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Meet Albert Thurman. He has been coming to Panama for almost 40 years doing research on Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) and he organizes entomology nature tours 3-4 times a year. This is his 6th trip to Mount Totumas.

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Meet John McDonald. He has joined Albert on many of his trips and is an expert on the moths of Panama. John arrived a couple days
early and spent invaluable time going through our collection and correcting all the misplaced specimens!

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Meet Margarita, a student from Ecuador who is attending Mississippi State University and is focusing her studies on micro moths.

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Patience and a steady hand required!

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Bill and John looking at specimens

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At night our restaurant gets converted into an impromptu lab and freshly caught specimens are examined.

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Margarita on the left and Ana on the right. Ana is studying entomology at the University of Panama.

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Meet Tatiana. She currently lives with her husband Brian in Boquetee. They are both entomologists who come up and stay with us when
Albert visits. Tatiana creates beautiful original paintings of fauna of Panama and she has done a series of lepidoptera of Panama.
This painting is of a geometrid moth first collected here at Mount Totumas by Charles Covell of the McGuire Center in Gainsille Florida.
This species is new to science and is currently being described.

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New geometrid species from our collection.

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Alma and Tatiana displaying Tatiana’s work.

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The following images are from the collection here at Mount Totumas. All the insects displayed were only collected here at this single
location. This collection is a window revealing the immense biodiversity here in the cloud forest.

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Eribidae with Eulepidotinae (right hand columns)

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Sphingidae of Mount Totumas

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More Sphingidae of Mount Totumas

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Saturnidae of Mount Totumas

More Saturnidae of Mount Totumas

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Eribidae; Catocalinae of Mount Totumas

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Sematuridae and Uraniidae of Mount Totumas

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Eribidae; Arctiinae of Mount Totumas

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More Arctiinae

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Geometridae of Mount Totumas

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More Geometridae of Mount Totumas

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Display of diverse beetles and other insects of Mount Totumas

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Misty new moon warm nights with no wind and this is what happens when you put up black lights and mecury vapor lamps.