Everywhere there were giant tree ferns, many growing to more than 40 feet in height. More than a century ago the English naturalist William R. Brigham saw these forests and wrote: “Tropical vegetation cannot well be described. The real trouble that meets the novice on the threshold of the tropics is the utter inadequacy of the English language to express the variety and luxuriance he sees in the vegetable world. Even in color his vocabulary fails him and he must include in the name of ‘green’ so many distinct tints that he often fails to try.”
We observed many beautiful birds: keelbilled toucans, flocks of little green parrots and several colonies of oropendola, easily identifiable by their strange nests which look like miniature hammocks hanging high up in huge kapok trees. It took us another four hours to climb up through new and abandoned cornfields and get to the forest edge. The misting rain, called cheepy-cheepy by the natives, had begun and it was getting cold. I was happy that we were nearing our destination. 42 » revuemag.com
Entering the cloud forest was like stepping into a vast cathedral bathed in perpetual twilight. And as soon as I had entered I felt that there was something unusual about it. Something that seemed very ancient and mysterious. Huge old oaks and alders towered up to form a canopy 150 feet above us. These massive trees were covered with a profusion of mosses in which were rooted ferns, herbs, shrubs and even small trees along with countless species of orchids, bromeliads, epiphytes and vines. ...continued on page 58
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