Thursday, June 27, 2013

Poa volcano in Costa Rica

Yesterday I went up at 2600 m elevation and stood on the rim of the crater of the Poa volcano in Costa Rica.  The crater is 1 km across and the volcano is still active, with the latest eruption in 2009, but not much activity yesterday.  Just some steam clouds (fumaroles) and smell of sulfur from down in the crater.  It didn't rain, which it usually does at this elevation, and the forest on the volcano are deep, low, dark cloud forest, with some open areas at the very highest elevations. It was a gorgeous place, easy to get to, and fascinating - the opposite to tropical beaches and tall rainforest.  Here are some photos, more to come on Flickr later...

 Looking into the crater of the Poa volcano in Costa Rica, with steamy sulfuric clouds coming out from the bottom.
 Walking through the cloud forest at 2600 m altitude.  Fog from clouds, gnarly trees, and lots of wet, green mosses.
 A high-altitude lake has formed in an older crater on the other side of the active crater rim.  The giant leaves in the foreground are Gunnera, or 'poor man's umbrella', and the leaves can be up to 2 meters (6 feet across).
A squirrel had figured out how to beg for food from the tourists and then took up dining space on a tree branch.
Ferns, ferns!  Small, large, enormous, green, and brown and curled up when young.


EH said...


Nice to hear from your trip, and it sounds exciting. You know I have a weak spot for volcanoes, did you get me a lava sample? :)

I have a few from Iceland from our trip. How is plant life in Costa Rica? Any interesting weeds? I saw a seeding ängshaverrot today, do you want some seeds?

LS said...

Sorry - no lava, I forgot about that... And yes to the seeds, even if we have that species here anyway.

Plant life in Costa Rica is GREEN, and wet (in the rainy season - right now). I have some photos from the rainforest to post soon. There are lots of weeds but they are different species, so hard to know what is a weed and what is not, haha! It is all fascinating. They do have horrible invasive species and one of the most notorious ones in the lowland rainforest is a small red banana that sets seed (it is not sterile like the superstore bananas) and coffee plants.