Living on the Edge of the Cloud Forest

The trees here in the cloud forest are amazing. Not just for their size but for the weight that they carry. I think they carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. They are the home of many epiphytes, plants that live on their branches, but are not parasites, and do no harm. Many of these are orchids. The orchids come in many sizes, some hide under leaves, others stick themselves out into the open to attract insects. Orchids don’t have nectar so they have to trick the insects into thinking they do have something for them so they will come in and pollinate them. Wild orchids come with an amazing range of scents, some smell like vanilla, another just like cinnamon, and another that wants to be pollinated by flies smells like rotten meat. Since they usually grow on the tops of trees they are difficult to see from the grown. The pictures above were taken at an orchid garden.

Last night I awoke clutching my pillow hoping the wind wouldn’t blow the metal roof off the little Tico cabin. My mind knew the wind was not that strong, but my body still refused to sleep, as soon as I put my sleepy head on my pillow and closed my eyes the wind roared, the rain clattered and my body stiffened awake. I woke up and read the Botany of Desire, thinking about the tree covered in epiphytes. How were they holding on in all this wind and rain. When the sun came up in the morning the epiphytes were still sitting on the branches. The light made the plants luminescent shining as they reached upwards from the branches. My photos refused to catch that luminescence so I tied to zero in on them with my new drawing program, Procreate .

In the drawing on concentrated on showing the luminance of just a few of the bromeliads shining in the tree by our airbub, but in the photo, you can see the tree actually carried many more than I drew in the picture.

In the forest along the pacific trail the bromeliads gleamed in the trees.

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