We woke up today and decided to stay in the area another night. The friendly monkeys thanked us with showers of excrement.
We went on a different hike on the property, but only were able to get pictures of a lizard we had seen around yesterday but never photographed.
It began to get a little stormy, so we used the pouring rain as an opportunity to head into town, pay the ticket, grab some supplies. We were really in herping mode, and were very surprised to see this large stick in the road just outside of the lodge.
It started booking away very quickly so we had to settle for a few crappy road shots after grabbing it and some posed tree pictures.
It really started to pour now, so we spent the next hour fighting with the bank. We then used a lull in the rain to check out the beach, and of course had it to ourselves. The body surfing was great.
We checked some mangroves near the beaches for crocs, but struck out.
It was getting late in the afternoon and so we headed back in town to grab a quick bite to eat. The meals at our lodge were out of this world, but they liked to eat at 7pm, family style. The conversation was excellent, but it was getting dark around 530 and we couldn't justify all the missed roadcruising time. A quick snack and we were heading to the areas we wanted to cruise again. Our first border patrol stop loomed ahead, and we started to prepare our passports from the glove box. Imagine our suprise when my passport had mysteriously disappeared...
Brian was furious. We spent 10 minutes tearing through the car in a fit of rage, with the friendly policia rummaging through our bags, quite frustrated at the stupid gringos. I last had it at the bank, and although it was closed now, he sent us back to our hotel for the night with plans to visit the bank in the morning. We were pissed... On the way back, I stopped at a place we gassed up and grabbed cokes, and we decided to tear the car apart again. Brian had checked the glove box a few times already, but when I went to check it again, he brought up the concern of what if the passport fell into the dash from the glovebox. There was a crack at the top when the box was opened, and I was able to squeeze a few fingers in there... Would you believe I could feel the damn passport! I was able to carefully extract it, and with large sighs of relief we headed back to the check point. The policia laughed at our story, waved us on our way, and left us alone for the night.
Right off the bat, a new turtle was spotted on the wet roads.
The frogs were out tonight.
We had seen 3 or 4 flattened DOR hognose vipers the night before, and a few of them were only noticed after we stopped for a frog or a different object (sticks, etc). Brian was a little frustrated and didn't think we were seeing these little guys from the car. I had faith, and was explaining I felt a live Porthidium would be fairly obvious, no matter how small, and I thought it would have a pretty distinct posture on the road, nose up. Seconds after finishing that statement, I spotted a classic viper pose on the road, nose to the sky, and stated "just like that Porthidium there"!
Porthidium ophryomegas - (turns out we are both fools - this is a young Bothrops asper)
The DORs started coming hard after that. Sibon, Leptodiera, and a large Trimorphodon were all noted.
Lots of Scinax staufferi
A Lithobates forreri
A few roads later we were investigating sticks on the road when Brian started paying closer attention to some nearby frog calls. They turned out to be calling from the roadside ditch.
Engystomops pustulolus (only crappy pic I could get of them calling)
There was a much larger, prettier DOR porthidium.
But things started to slow down. A few more hours of cruising yielded a couple more DORs and this little Ninea sebae
We had were starting to tire of the DOR parade, and excited to get into actual rainforest. We woke up early, photographed one of our hosts cascabels as a consolation, and spent the next day making the long drive over to the Atlantic slope. It poured the whole way over, and was another DORfest. We were crushed to see most of these animals dead.
And who gets fricking eyelashes (pretty ones to boot) DOR?
The roads made it a slow going.
We finally arrived at La Selva right before dinner. This ended up being our home for the next 4 nights. We had some other plans but things got changed last minute a few times due to getting stuck in the field longer than planned, running low on cash (feeling that speeding ticket...) and other commitments. In the end, I was tired of the driving and ready to just hit the trails hard. The animals really started to come now, and I will save you any more DOR shots from here on out...
Atlantic slope to follow soon.
Check out Costa Rica Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV and Part V.