We're getting really low now, with our hotel sitting at a bare 400m high. It's hot and dry. Although we are enjoying a bit of sun finally, we had our doubts about finding as many orchids out here than previously. But this change of scenery not only brings orchids, but other advantages as well.
Day 16 - Road from Mendez to Macas
First, this one only covers half a day as we decided to take half a day off at the pool. We are terrible people yes, how dare we take a break from orchids...
As stated above, we had our doubts going to the location this morning. It looks hot and dry, not to our liking at all. But a 2 min walk into the forest from our first stop, we discovered quite a lot, such as this Epistephium sp.
Lo and behold, another known miniature! Dryadella portillae sitting on a twig.
Weird-looking, this Maxillaria sp. looks like an Ornithocephalus from afar.
Being a guide for over 20 years, you would think nothing surprises him anymore...and yet! First time for him, this Vanilla pompona is rarely seen in bloom. Judging by the size of the plant, we understand why!
This cute little Maxillaria parviflora is right up our alley, loving it!
And even more Maxillaria sp. around here, seems like they're enjoying this climate.
Not an orchid and not easy to spot, what an awesomely weird little creature!
Here's an Epidendrum sp. for a change, what a big lip.
The place was filled with Pleurothallis ruscifolia in bloom, a true spectacle.
And some more Pleurothallis species, among which Pleurothallis niveoglobula.
Also enjoying this climate is this very elegant Mormolyca gracilipes
How nice, a warm-growing miniature Cryptocentrum sp.!
Another non-orchid picture: a leaf-cutter ant carrying another ant...
While we're at it, some more leaf-cutter ants :)
And more buddies to end the day with...
Day 17 - Mendez to Plan de Milagro via Limon
Today was...a bust! Our very first day where we just failed to find anything interesting. It's not that we didn't find any orchids, but barely anything in bloom and quite a few were...meh. So there you go, not much to tell today.
Again in a warmer region, first of the day was this quite unique Teuscheria horichiana (?). Big plant, small flowers.
Not an orchid, but unable to identify this...thing. A hanging spider-toilet? No idea.
Here's one we have in the greenhouse as well, Pleurothallis sandemannii
A see-through fungus. Pretty cool huh?
And last one of the day, much higher this time at around 2500m high, this large Epidendrum sp. sitting in full sun
Aaaaaand that's it! Want more? Here's a nice dragonfly.