Steven Dutch, Professor Emeritus, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay
|After digging a compost pit for food waste, it soon became apparent that Morpho butterflies love pineapple.|
|Police stops are common. Mostly it's a serious crackdown on speeding but our rental vehicles got stopped for out of date temporary plates. A little mordida was also not out of the question.|
|On the way in to Playa Leona. Believe it or not, there was a serious reason to come here. One purpose of the course was to compare different approaches to conservation in Costa Rica. This is a private sanctuary that offers serious nature walks (canopy tours and the like) and conservation but supports it and attracts visitors with resort activities.|
|This is the publicly accessible beach.|
|Picking up survival essentials for a grueling day on the beach.|
|Jaime Kozloski and Kelly Hirsch|
|Saving the rain forest through miniature golf.|
|Waiting for the shuttle.|
|The central resort complex.
Below: views on the way to the private beach at Playa Blanca. Playa Blanca is part of the Playa Leona complex but restricted access.
|Signal flags for wave conditions.
Below: The main resort center at Playa Blanca.
|Vigorous research seminar in progress.|
|Looking north along the beach.|
|Looking south along the beach.|
|Looking west to the Nicoya Peninsula.|
|Our group plunged into their research.|
|Seminar on oceanography in progress.|
|Sign at the north end of the beach:
Don't cross when the tide is rising
You run the risk of being trapped.
|Ripple marks exposed by the retreating tide|
|A small spring emerging on the beach. Small sand boils were visible erupting under the water.|
|Same spot half an hour later after the tide had fallen still further.|
|At the north end of the beach is a rocky headland. The flat terrace at the base is a former wave-cut platform, recently uplifted.|
|The rocks here are Tertiary siltstones.
Below: deep, joint-controlled slots cut the wave cut terrace at regular intervals and make rounding the point a lot harder than it looks from a distance.
|A notch provides an easy path to the far side of the rocks.|
|Left and below: views on the far side of the headland.|
|Although there's no coral on the beach, beyond the point coral fragments were abundant.|
|Left: mineralized fractures erode more slowly than the
surrounding rock and stand out in relief.
Below: the wave-cut platform on the far side of the point.
|A mollusk-bored rock.
Below: cacti on the cliffs.
|From a distance, it looks like an easy walk around the point, but deep, joint-controlled slots like this occur every fifty yards or so. On both sides, some are dangerous enough to block progress.|
|Below: the tracks in the silt were made by snails and other bottom dwellers.|
|Above: at high tide the sea cave and surf block the path (above), but when the tide goes down (left) it's an easy crossing.|
|Below: Former sea cliff and uplifted terrace. The prevailing wind twists the trees.|
|Above: fracture zones in the rocks.
Left and below: mineralized fractures standing out in relief.
|Left and below: breaking waves on the edge of the terrace.|
|This side view shows a nice cross section of the former sea cliff and elevated terrace.|
|Left and below: wave action swirls sand and pebbles around in crevices, eventually abrading potholes.|
|Slickensides on this slab indicate fault motion.|
|A colorful crab washed ashore.|
|Nearly horizontal layers (left) are cut by a wide shear zone (right two thirds of the picture).|
|End of the line. There doesn't seem to be any safe way to cross this slot regardless of the state of the tide.|
|Coatis are close relatives of raccoons and just as brazen moochers. Despite signs warning visitors not to feed them, people do, and so a pack patrols the seawall. The youngsters are tan and look at first glance like cats except for the long snout.|
|Does it get any more brazen than this?|
|Contorted bedding like this at the south end of the beach generally indicates submarine slumping of loose sediment.|
|Fugu, anyone? A puffer fish on the beach.
Below: the contemporary wave-cut platform
|Dark heavy minerals concentrated by wave action and backwash.|
|This pelican was a constant fixture. Here he dives and gets a fish.|
|Left and below: bougainvillea|
|♫ Wastin' away in
Below: twilight on the beach
|Some people went to dinner in style. Samantha Olsen gets a ride from Greg Sheier, while Phil Hahn approves.|
|Dinner at a seafood buffet.|
|We were welcomed home by one of the locals.|
Created 18 January 2008, Last Update 11 June 2020