Thursday, December 16, 2010

Guanacaste tree

I will continue with a series of photos of my little drive in the country, if that is OK with you.

Here is a guanacaste tree, the national tree of Costa Rica. Our northwestern province of Costa Rica is named Guanacaste. These trees have adapted to the long dry season that lasts from December until April. Some of them have branches and leaves that grow all the way to the ground like a giant umbrella.

Only 2% of the original dry forest area is still forested, as the Spanish cleared the land for cattle ranches, such as this pasture. Costa Rica has preserved 25% of its land as national parks and nature preserves, more than any country on earth. The country is planting 5-7 million trees each year to reforest many areas as part of its goal to be the world's first carbon-neutral country.

Our province of Guanacaste, by the way, used to be part of Nicaragua, but voted in the 1820's to be part of Costa Rica instead. That was a smart move, as Nicaragua is a troubled nation, and there are disagreements between Costa Rica and its northern neighbor. Costa Rica does not have any military and has had a stable democracy since 1949. The same cannot be said for Nicaragua.

This week we are showing photos of Norway on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.


brattcat said...

What a handsome tree.

Sharon said...

What a great tree. You might be competing with Steffe for perfect tree photos but, I bet your tree has never seen a flake of snow. said...

Sharon, you are right. Costa Rican trees have never seen or even heard about snow.

Once we took a tour and our Costa Rican tour guide was a young man in his 20's who had taken part in an agricultural educational exchange program. He spend a year in high school in the U.S. in a farming area.

They sent him to North Dakota! He said that all his life he had heard about snow and had seen photos of it, but he was looking forward to experiencing snow for the first time. After one winter in North Dakota, he said he was glad to come back to warm Costa Rica and not have any more snow.

Jarart said...

Beautiful shot of the lone tree.

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