Why we added Forest Trails to our farm in Costa Rica & Woolly Opossum we found during our walk
Our 22 acre farm on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica is the loveliest farm I have ever seen, but my opinion may be tainted by the fact that we created it exactly the way we wanted it. We have 4-5 acres that are cleared for the road and cabins and 17 acres of secondary forest which we had decided to leave in its natural state. For two years I stood on the forest edge and peered in to admire it. We had walked the outside perimeter many times from our neighbors pasture because it was clear and the few times we did walk through our farm we were wearing long pants tucked into boots for safety. As of last month, there were still some unexplored parts due to the dense jungle vines. I really wanted to get to know ALL of our farm. So we made these trails that meander on top of the ridges and have views down into our natural spring and the small creek it creates.
The mornings are our favorite time to walk. The sunlight illuminates ferns like in the picture above and makes the movement of the water in the small creek sparkle. We have come across several different animals while walking and the cutest so far is this baby Central American Woolly Opossum.
Central American Woolly Opossums
Woolly Opossums are arboreal and nocturnal, which means that they live in trees and are normally only active at night. They are even less active during a full moon because they are easily seen by predators in the bright moon light. We don’t know why this baby was by himself or why he was on this branch, so close to us, in the morning hours. A book we have says that woolly opossums have adapted monkey-like tendencies and are similar to dwarf lemurs found in Madagascar. They hang from their tales and collect moths on tree branches with their dexterous hands. The woolly opossums have different eyes than other opossums (the ones that don’t spend most of their time in trees). The eyes are larger and more forward-facing which gives them better depth perception, which can be helpful when you are high off the ground. He didn’t seem frightened of us and continued to hang around even as Barry put the lens in his face. Maybe he was looking for another mammal to play with?
We haven’t seen him since that day, hopefully his mother taught him to stay higher up in the trees. A creature that size can be an easy meal for a snake. When we showed the pictures to our neighbors they said it was a Zorro, a fox.
Some days this place makes me feel like I am the luckiest girl on earth. Thanks Mother Nature!