Archive for August, 2016

Introducing Alma and Karin and our Restaurant at The Bellbird Lodge, MTCF

Sunday, August 28th, 2016

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Alma is the soul of the kitchen here at our restaurant at MTCF. She is an alchemist and creates dishes that span the continents from thai to italian, panamanian, filpino, mexican, french, and american.

Karin with empanadas smiling in kitchen Karin, our daughter, joins us in the high season. She graduated from ICE Culinary Institute in NYC and she brings her skills as she gleans fruits and vegetables from our garden and wild pastures and creates new dishes, sauces, marinades.When you combine Karin and Alma together in the kitchen magic happens, along with occasional high drama!

karin with salad She means business and she knows it.

Fresh salad from our garden and hydroponic green house. The Chioggia beets from our garden as well!

alma karin leche flan Leche Flan

Alma Lasagna

curry 2
Chicken Curry with lemon grass, thai basil, and galanga from our garden. The kafir lime was hand picked from our tree in south florida and brought with us to Panama.

Home made spring rolls.

Bellbird Lodge living area where meals are served.

Lunch today is bean soup, patacones and fresh fruit.


Volcan hiking club at the table and having desert


Empanadas filled with pesto, potatoe and ground beef.

huevos rancherosHuevos Rancheros for Breakfast

Buffet spread when we have large groups.

Quiche with Portobella mushrooms.




Alma, Kevin and Sierra preparing Naranjilla fruit and arbol de tomate for marinades, jam or chicha.

tomatoe fruit 1 Naranjilla fruit and arbol de tomate from our gardens

Crepuscular drifting clouds

Friday, August 26th, 2016

rainy season mood

In the rainy season late in the afternoon as day turns to night clouds often drift up and the Colorado Valley is shrouded in moving mist. The view from the lodge is of forest fading in and out of the clouds. Silent at times punctuated by the call of a forest falcon, this infects the viewer with a stillness, one stops all the internal chatter and feels and breathes the moment, all there ever really is. Scenes like this send gentle reminders.

rainy season mood 2

Volcan Hiking Club Hikes to Mr. Vega’s Homestead

Monday, August 15th, 2016

vega 1

Over the weekined we had the Volcan Hikling Club up for their third visit to Mount Totumas Cloud Forest. This time we hiked to Mr. Vega’s homestead. Mr. Vega cleared and homesteaded his land back in the early 1960’s and has spent over 50 years living off the grid in a small humble cabin tending to his livestock. He represents a way of life that is fast disappearing in Panama and in most places in the world. Not a digital device to be found in his cabin. He is a lucky man.

vega 16

vega 15

vega 14

vega 13

vega 12

vega 11

vega 10

vega 9

vega 8

vega 7

vega 6

vega 5

vega 4

vega 3

vega 2

Totumas Vega Hike7

Totumas Vega Hike5

Totumas Vega Hike3

Totumas Vega Hike A

Totumas Vega Hike 2