Rancho Grande Cloud Forest, Venezuela by Fabian Michelangeli

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Picture Story

The montane cloud forest is a particular kind of rain forest, almost constantly enshrouded in mist and growing in scarce belts in mountainsides with an abundance of epiphytes, orchids, bromeliads, mosses and tree ferns. I went to photograph the biodiversity of the Rancho Grande Cloud Forest in northern Venezuela, about 100 kilometers west of the capital city of Caracas. A university biological station lodged in a ghostly abandoned hotel is the starting point of a network of winding trails up the mountain. Once inside, one feels in the interior of a cathedral with tree trunks going up like columns to the sky and disappearing in the mist. These trees shown here are ironically called “niños” (children) as they grow up to 50 meters high and emerge through the forest canopy.


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