Archive for November, 2012

Meadow Beauty Rhexia sp.

Friday, November 30th, 2012

Rhexia sp. is one of the common pioneer species that constantly has to be cut back in order to maintain pastures here in the mountains of Western Panama. Cattle farmers don’t like it. It dulls many a machete. A related species in the US is Meadow Beauty.

Notice the small sword like leaves with parallel veins. Melastomataceae family.

2 years ago we stopped clearing over 100 acres of pastures here at Mount Totumas Cloud Forest and let this area go feral and start the natural selection process of reforestation.
As the rainy season comes to an end the species of Rhexia here has come into full bloom and the hillsides are stunning.

Scintillant Humminbirds feed on the lovely flowers that will be with us here for a few years in such abundance until tree seedlings shade them out.

Dragonflies and Damselflies of Mount Totumas Cloud Forest

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

During two seasons of collecting Nick Donnelly and John Michalski did a survey of the Odonata of Mount Totumas Cloud Forest. John put together this single page field guide that we will laminate and add to our growing natural history library on site. Thank you Nick and John and hoping to see you once again up in the clouds

A 3 Monkey Day

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Looking back this past summer a walk with one of our visiting groups resulted in a first. All three species of monkey were spotted on the same day while hiking La Puma Trail; Mantled Howler, Squirrel Monkey and White Faced Capuchin. The above photo was taken over a year ago through a spotting scope

These Squirrel Monkeys are the most animated of the 3 species. They have prehensile tails and jump up and down when alarmed, shaking branches and breaking off twigs and throwing them down from the tree tops.


Squirrel Monkey jumping in the air.


Squirrel Monkey looking at you looking at him.

The White Faced Capuchin’s were spotted while leaping away. They are wary and we have not yet gained their trust. For that reason we have planted some corn along the edge habitat of pasture and forest. Apparently they can not resist com :)

Clouds in the Landscape

Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

Being close to the continental divide, clouds drift and creep in a constant motion. There are moments in the late afternoon where all is still and one can look down the valley and watch as the clouds wander slowly upward until you are engulfed in the mist.

Clouds add a fourth dimension of motion to the varied cloud forest scenery. Here are some cloud photos.