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The Cenizaro and the Rainy Season

By Hansel Herrera

The first rains hit the hills and valleys of the Osa Peninsula. Quickly, the landscape changes from a dry brown to a young green with the scent of flowers and fresh fruit in the air. The giant cenízaro tree (Samanea saman) motionlessly withstands the season change and humbly mixes with the green shoots of the surrounding vegetation.

During the dry season, its enormous canopy in the shape of an umbrella gradually releases the moisture carefully trapped during the rainy season. With a top that easily triples its height, thousands of epiphytes, grasses and wild herbs maintain a perennial verdure, including during the driest months of the year, below the divine protection of this gigantic centennial.

In February and March, when the streams and springs dry up, the cenízaro tree covers itself with thousands of flowers with beautiful pink stamens that explode like fireworks across its top. In this moment, its beauty is incomparable, and tens of animals and insects gather below its umbrella to enjoy the bounties of this marvelous tropical oasis.