Wow what a day! Yet another day gone by and I’m excited for the next days to come, yet saddened that our time here is eventually coming to an end?. For this blog post I will provide three (get it?) reasons why we had such an amazing day today.
We started the day by going to La Selva, a biological station full of exotic animals and plant systems! We started the tour off by sighting the two fingered sloth!! If you refer back to my first blog you can see how excited I was to see one. We then continued through the “jungle” to explore the rest of the facility with our tour guide. We noticed that certain trees had a pyramid type of root structure and we learned that the trees have evolved to implement themselves into earth in a triangular structure because it is more stable and durable during floods. We saw another species of tree that was “strangling” the primary tree. Apparently, this certain type of tree will wrap itself around another already existing tree to skip the growing years, and get good sunlight/nutrients from the mother tree. If the mother tree dies, the strangling ficus will get the nutrients from the decomposing mother tree. It was neat seeing the relationships and systems plants establish in these ecosystems to survive. A little later we spotted a beautiful Tucan! The sighting of the sloth was truly amazing, but I have never seen anything as beautiful as the tucan I saw through the professional lense. It was just so amazing seeing the biodiversity of Costa Rica because I am not used to that back at home.
After leaving beautiful La Selva, we went to the Dole banana plantation to see the whole process of the banana leaving Costa Rica and going to the United States. Even though we got a tour at EARTH University from David, our guide Carlos from Dole presented a very different approach. Carlos was more explanatory and humorous throughout the whole process. He was slashing up banana plants with a machete and it was awesome. He explained that throughout every banana processing, there are three reasons why something happens. We learned that the banana plant is actually not a fertile flower. The actual banana is a commercial fruit not a fertile one. The difference is that the commercial banana that we eat has no seeds, while fertile banana fruits are just composed of seeds. The flower grows out of the bud and sprouts out of the “tree”. And then the little flowers inside of the bud turn into the bananas.
Our guide further explained the reasons why we put the plastic and leave the little banana hanging and etc. David explained that they leave the little banana hanging to see if the bananas at the top are ripe. Carlos explained that they do this because the little banana acts as the “mother” and provides nutrients to the bananas above. Like the hero of the process. At the end of the tour he showed us the banana plantation and how they harvest the fruit and it was insanely cool. In the picture below you can see that one person holds the fruit steadily, while the other chops it with a machete!!
And lastly, today was awesome because Carlos gave us a little sip of banana drink and it was very interesting to taste. Did not think you could mix banana successfully into a drink but they were pretty successful. We are at our new location for the night and it is absolutely heaven. I’m so sad we are only staying for one night but I have already made most of it by going to the pool 🙂
Ps: look at this beautiful butterfly from La Selva