There are five ponds on the FCRE property. One is down by the Ecology Center, and four are up at the top of the property. Water hyacinth has been a problem taking over some of the ponds. The largest pond, generally known as the basilisk pond, was in the worst condition, and a team was sent to open it up a bit.
And so the story of the turtle. It would seem that this pond turtle was fleeing the scene, either after being accidentally chucked out along with a gob of plants, or voluntarily leaving due to silly people all over the place. But I found it huddled up in its shell just past the growing pile of hyacinth on the shore. I spent much of the time watching it and hoping it would come out for a picture. It did not. So, I put it by the pile of packs and forgot about it. Then, after everyone was out of the water, it was discovered still tightly closed. Laura actually started to pet it and it quickly opened up and started walking away! I went for my camera but it was buried in leaves before I got back. Go figure. So here is a picture of the turtle that dislikes being photographed but jumps around if Laura pets it.
So, after all the pond fun in the rain, I thought since I was on top of the hill where the big fruit-eating birds come in in the evening, I would hang around and hope the rain stopped. It didn't but I got this picture of a Chestnut mandibled toucan. It was taken from 60-meters away, in the rain, so only as good as such a picture can be.
Yes, I was unsuccessfully waiting out the rain in the bamboo pavilion on top of the hill, so found this mantid egg case. Or so I think. This seems correct, but there are enough ridiculously weird insects in Costa Rica that I could be wrong.
Keith Christenson - Wildlife Biologist