The pad I am using was going nuts last night, so there was no post then.We are in Mindo, a peaceful and beautiful town in the Andes cloud forests north of Quito. We had an astounding hike today. This cloud forest is made of leaves of all shapes, especially ovals, diamonds, triangles, hearts. It abounds in bromeliads, plants that grow where organic matter has gathered on trees’ branches. Yellow, crimson, and white flowers show up where you don’t expect them, along with white and yellow mushrooms. The world here is made from bird songs and calls- “Tree tree tree tree”, ” oldmcDONald”, “doyourREsearch”, and more. You wouldn’t believe how many butterflies, including some with clear wings to make it hard for birds to see them. An armadillo scurried past us, and I am fairly sure I spotted a quickly moving monkey.
We also took an evening hike in a preserve that protects amphibians. Frogs were on the backs of large leaves, in holes, on tree trunks, and their calls were thunderous – especially the ones that sound like chickens. Yes they do! We will return to Quito tomorrow for the trip’s end Jan. 10. We planned to have much of the day here, leaving mid afternoon, but it is raining! Aarghh! It is nice in the cabin tonight, with loud frogs around us.