images and notes
I don't know if you've heard the news
but while Atelopus varius
were being re-discovered on the Pacific side of Costa Rica,
was simultaneously on the Caribbean side chasing the ghosts of
Atelopus past along the Rio Atelopus.
I was there to perform a ritual
of return- returning one of of Tracy's glow in the dark Atelopus
casts to the river.
Of course I
take full credit for having conjured up Atelopus in Costa Rica once
Next time I'm going to pull a Golden Toad out of my hat.
Besides the extirpated frog voodoo...
I also spoke with the man who
named this particular Rio the Rio Atelopus and asked him why he had
chosen that name?
He said it was fun to name things and "Atelopus"
appealed to his sense of the weird and what was unique about the
I asked him to recount anything and everything he could about
his Atelopus experiences while on the Rio Atelopus
he said he
really wished he had paid more attention to the Atelopus of the Rio
the last one was seen in 1993.
He did recall that though
they were never particularly common on the Rio,
Atelopus were so
sufficiently abundant that once he had squished one under his knee
when he slipped while making a Rio crossing.
He's worried about that
for years ---
perhaps they'd still be around if it weren't for that
And for a week I was an Atelopus-
I basked on streamside boulders,
tried hard not to get swept downstream and tumble over the waterfall.
I watched the clouds build and gather over the Rio and drop
rain and ambled out of the canyon
into the streamside vegetation when
the water flowing out of the mountains roared down the channel
stampede of muddy white mules.
I heard nothing but riversound and
gave up on trying to hear anything else.
I wonder if I dreamt
Atelopus dreams- they were simple- just images of the river.
river flowing by, always the same and always something new.
223 North Shore