Color my world…with trees!

But of course! When you ride in Costa Rica, you will be lucky to see many awesome trees! It’s one of the things I love the most about riding here!


To me,  trees are beloved companions on rides. I take them into my heart as I pass them, nodding to them with great respect.  (And I know they love me as well. Hahaha!)

bromeliads (1)
Tree full of bromeliads
Rubber Tree in La Garita

You will see many different kinds of interesting trees in Costa Rica, needless to say. Flowering trees, oddly-shaped trees, tall majestic trees, trees that hold a whole ecosystem, dried up trees, live fences, etc. Tragically, you will also see many cut-back trees. 😦

Are these cool, or what?
You’ll notice this one on Rt 3

In the dry season, there are many gorgeous flowering trees. Everyone should plant a flowering or fruit tree! 🙂  (The song Color My World song comes to mind as I write.)

Roble de la Sabana
Cortez amarillo


I feel that trees embrace us and shelter us from inner storms. They calm us when we are distressed. They symbolize a grounded presence that stretches out into the world, willing to give and receive.

Barrio Jesus, Atenas

A special treat is riding under a tall tree that holds Oropendola bird nests. It’s worth a pause to enjoy their warbling and varied songs.

Oropendola bird nests

And, hopefully, you will see many other kinds of birds as well, as you surely will, especially toucans. How often I have seen them fly across the road as I am riding by. A quiet moment of inner joy for me.

McCaws in beach Almond trees

Many trees are full of life, from vines, to bromeliads, to hanging moss. It reminds me that we are all in this together.

So  much life!
Hanging moss

This large “soapberry” tree was a great find! This and other trees with pods or winding vines full of pods which have wonderful seeds with which to make jewelry! (See Artisan Tropical Jewelry.)

Gorgeous, huge Chumico (soapberry tree)

Here are some lovely Mucuna holtonii vines and a photo of their chandelier flower.


Mholtonii flower
Mucuna holtonii flower

In some parts of the country, you can find lots of gourd trees. I used to carve gourds when in the Peace Corps. This one below has perfectly round gourds!


Oh yeah. Can’t forget the live fences!



The poró trees used in live fences have lovely flowers and seeds.

Poró tree flower
Live fences in Nicoya

Another common live fence post tree is the “Madero Negro” tree, whose leaves are used to treat mange and fleas in dogs.

Madero Negro flowers

And, you will also ride by many plantations — of citrus trees, chocolate trees, banana trees, Teak, and African palm trees, among others.

Teak plantation
Chocolate pods (cacao)

There many different varieties of banana trees. And too many banana plantations!



I also love the bark of many trees, but the most fun is the Eucaliptus tree bark (left).

How about those trunks and roots!! Wow!



And you will see tons of electric lines near trees, which is usually cause to amputate them.



TreesCutWhen the electric company cuts back tree limbs, it brings tears to my eyes, especially when they do it across the street from the lines, where the branches cannot even reach them. I have seen this done in many areas as I ride, and I don’t quite understand it. Like why cut back coconut trees across the street from the electric lines? Their branches will never reach them. Ah well. I am indeed a sensitive creature. 🙂

How often I have seen trees I love be killed, for whatever reason.

All of these by my house have been cut. Heartbreaking!


My only consolation is to hope that their wood brings comfort to a loving family, that as the wood burns in a stove it feeds children, or gathers people around a fireplace.  Here are two poems I wrote to the cut down cypress trees by my home: Thoughts on cypress trees.


Cypress trees in Montecillos, Heredia. I fear they may be cut, as hundreds of them have been.

So enjoy them while you can, before they are cut!

And, yes, you will see monkeys and sloths (and snakes) on trees.


And last but not least, coconut trees and other palm trees! Always a treat!


The road from Puntarenas to Nicoya has hundreds upon hundreds of beautiful trees. If  you are a tree lover, I recommend that ride. Gorgeous.

When you make it to the beach, you will often find a lot of super cool trees there as well, especially in the South Pacific and South Caribbean.


Thanks for making it this far!

Yours truly, tree lover – 2013



My song for trees: Color my World.

To see some trees along roads, click on this album: Roads of Costa Rica.

Riding in Costa Rica: Feel the beauty. Know the love. Live the power.


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