Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Costa Rica Sketches
I haven't posted in a while because I have been in Costa Rica! My husband takes Xavier students there every year and I sometimes tag along. This year my illustrator friend Christina also came on the trip so I brought my sketching supplies.
Our first destination of the trip was Bijagual Ecological Reserve. The reserve is a beautiful rain forest teeming with biodiversity, trails, rain, and rivers. One day Christina and I took a short walk down to the Bijagual river. As Christina sketched I spent time looking for rocks for a little project I will blog about later. When we were about to leave, something caught my eye on a little island in the middle of the stream. I saw a bright-colored seed pod but couldn't quite make out if it was worth the effort to cross over to retrieve it. Luckily some of the students had left their binoculars on the shore and when I looked through the lenses I was super excited to see these crazy purple colored pods with bright red berries hanging out. As I made my way over to the berries I could see they were from a tree that had washed down the river. Luckily Paul Foster, the director of the preserve, showed up soon after with clippers and identified the tree as Erythrina. He was also excited to see this plant as he had been wanting to plant some of the seeds for the preserve.
I fell in love with everything about this plant. I don't think I have ever seen a plant before with such an amazing color pallet. I normally don't like to include photos with my blog sketch but in this case I had to just to show you the true colors. I also loooooooooove the bulbous pods and how they curl around to make a bumpy, purple, red, and cream sphere about the size of a grapefruit. And you can't see it here, but the red seeds were literally hanging by thin papery strips that allowed them to move in the wind. You can't get more eye-catching than that! As Christina put it, these seed pods look like they were from an alien planet. You can see her sketch here.
The tree below is a quick sketch I did on the Osa Peninsula. I should have included something for scale because this tree was absolutely enormous. I love the huge buttress roots on these fig trees. Many animals live in the crevices including bats, snakes, scorpions and, for many years in a row, a nest of black vultures lived in this particular tree.
This last sketch was of the incredible interior of La Iglesia de La Merced in San Jose. The church has a beautiful wood ceiling and very colorful columns and mosaic floor and walls. I looked it up and it was built in 1894 and the architecture is new-Gothic.
I may yet do a little more sketching from some of my photos. I have a hard time sitting still in Costa Rica long enough to do a sketch. I find myself wanting to walk around and see everything. I took quite a few photos so check back soon!