Thursday, March 1, 2018

Arenal, 26-28th February

We are off to Arenal. I have been looking forward to this since the beginning of our trip. We have several trips planned whilst in Arenal - a tour of yet another butterfly house, a hanging bridges tour and finally a chocolate making tour.
On our way to Arenal we passed this lovely cow at the side of the road scratching itself on a fire hydrant.

Our hotel comprised of bungalows on the hillside overlooking the Arenal Volcano and Arenal Lake. The lake was man made when a dam was put in to conserve water.

Our room was quite nice except for the bathroom which was quite small. I have never been in a hotel with a bathroom as small. You had to turn sideways to get passed the toilet to be able to close the door otherwise you scraped your tummy on the sink.
After a good nights sleep for Gary, fair for me we were off to see the butterflies. The sanctuary was reportedly the largest in Costa Rica so I was looking forward to seeing many butterflies. We were greeted by Kevin, who explained to us the life cycle of the butterfly/moth and accompanied his explanations with demonstrations. He showed us the chrysalis of some butterfly and the chrysalis looked like gold metal.

The above photo shows a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis after it had help from Kevin to open the case. The next photo shows the emerging butterflies.
Because I have shown you numerous butterfly photos, I will just show you my favorites or what I think are interesting.
The above photo shows many Blue Morpho butterflies feeding on pineapple.
 I just liked the above photo of the Monarch butterfly.
The above photo is interesting because it is the same butterfly in different colors. I do not remember its name but I do remember it can be blue, red or green.
The finally photo I want to show you is of a Glass Wing Butterfly. It has no scales on its wings so it looks clear. In fact, all butterflies would look like this if they did not have colored scales.

After the butterflies we went into the frog house where we saw a huge frog. We also saw tree frogs and poison dart frogs.
I always thoughts frogs were green and toads were brownish. I was wrong. We also saw some frog spawn that had been laid on the underside of a leaf.
The tadpoles drop from the leaf into the water below.
There was a trail around the butterfly compound that took you through the woods. We saw some interesting plants, the names of which I do not know except the rattlesnake plant. When you see the photo, you will know why it is called that.

On our walk we also came across some leafcutter ants carrying their leaves.
 It is amazing the size of the leaf they carry compared to their body size as they can carry up to 20 times their body weight. We were told they do not eat the leaves. They take them into their nest where they ferment and grow moss, which they do eat. Apparently, next to humans, leafcutter ants form the largest and most complex animal societies on Earth.
I am going to split this blog into two otherwise it will be extra long for you to read.

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