Rio Coihueco Nature Walk

The weather here as we go into spring has been delightful. One beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon, we decided to go fishing on the Coihueco River which runs  near the back of our property. The headwaters are up in the mountains between Volcan Puntiagudo and Volcan Osorno and it flows out to the ocean. The river is fairly shallow with lots of shoals. My boys went kayaking on it and said it has some light rapids but is fairly easy to kayak. One of the beautiful things about the river is the lack of development along its shores. It does run through the city of Osorno but other than that  it’s shores are woods and farms. We went fishing for salmon and trout. Sadly, we caught nothing but a few glimpses of the local Kingfisher bird. I bet he caught something! But the day was enjoyable anyway!DSCN3230

We have to walk about a mile through the neighbors farm to get out to the river.Here are some of the sights of our nature walk.


A giant plantain plant, Plantago lanceolata.  It is a common weed here but is also found in the US but  the broadleaf variety is more common there. The leaf is edible and can be used like spinach. It also has healing properties. The natural anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties of the leaf make it useful for healing stings, bites, cuts, and bruises. All you do is chew up a leaf and apply it to the wound. DSCN3238

We were being followed by a herd of young dairy cows.


I think this is growing out of the tree. Some type of parasitic plant! Have to do some research on this one.


These majestic trees, Nothofagus, dot all the pastures around here. They are a good sign of fertile, well drained soil. You can see my post on the Southern Beech to learn more.


Every time we walk over this one creek on our journey to the river we meet this little guy. He must be the guardian of the creek! Snakes are relatively rare here and all are pretty harmless. Meaning snakes are not poisonous like a plant but venomous and though all snakes bite the venom of Chilean snakes is not dangerous to humans.


One of my favorite, the Laurel.


Look at all the moss growing on this tree!


My little buddy loves to go on walks and is very observant with a sharp eye for details!


This old stump has become an amazing home for all sorts of plants, mosses, lichens, insects, and animals.

And here are a few views riverside that my son took on his kayak trip.


Lots of rocky shoals


The river is pretty calm with little to no rapids






The Orchid of the Forest

White dog orchid flowers

I was pleasantly delighted to find this diminutive flower on a walk through the woods earlier this month. I instantly thought of Lady Slippers, a rare orchid found in the eastern forests of the US, but this little flower is not quite as showy. It is called Palomita in Spanish, in English the white dog orchid or in Latin Codonorchis lessonii. It is a native orchid only 20-30 cm tall.

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Sadly, my little Nikon is acting up and my photos came out poorly so I borrowed this one above from Flickr. Thanks to Pablo Necochea!


2015-10-27 12.59.31 It has 2-4 gathered leaves with short petioles at the base and a solitary flower on a translucent stalk. The white flowers have reddish purple spots. It’s roots are small tubers. It grows from the Maule region all the way south to the Magellanes region.