Well, summer has officially started here in Pastaza – with some of the heaviest rainfall seen in a while – it’s almost like being back in Edinburgh for the summer! However, once the rain stops, the intensity of the sunshine is definitely and noticeably increasing.
While we are still planning the next construction stage, we have been busy rescuing suitable plants from the road-edge close to the Centre and re-planting around the edge of the new path to help hold back the regrowth of the unwanted African grass and to improve the mix of endemic plants on the site. The roadside is cut back regularly on behalf of the local municipal council and many beautiful and interesting plants are lost in the process. In addition to the 340 trees we are still awaiting collection and delivery of, we have also asked for and been awarded 50 palm trees of differing endemic species by the Municipio of Puyo. Some have already arrived on the land and will be planted very soon in the jungle area to supplement the diversity within, as many such trees are missing now locally. We have a small, net- covered area prepared where we store plants awaiting replanting.
Sadly we are still continuing to witness the loss of secondary, and other, jungle nearby as our neighbours continue to ‘develop’ their land. However, one positive piece of news is that one of them is strongly considering replanting with guadua. This is one of the endemic species of bamboo we are interested in promoting as a potential fast-growing product to replace the cutting, and use of, endangered hardwood trees. We are hoping to assist by giving advice, support and suitable contacts.
Gloudina Greenacre – one of our core Coordinators – has left recently to return to Spain for a time. Her skills, abilities, intelligence and sparkly presence are sorely missed – although she is still in regular contact, and is involved in the continuing developments as well as planning fund-raising activities there. Looking forward to seeing you back, as soon as, Gloudina!
We continue to see many new plants and animals around the land – often flowers suddenly appear as if from nowhere, and sometimes fade away as fast, too. On leaving the land the other day an otter was spotted crossing the road which, of course, is a great sign of the health of the local streams and rivers and the diversity of wildlife living in the area that we are helping to protect. A new addition to the range of bird species has also been spotted around the land, although as yet unidentified. We have also heard tell recently of a jaguar being seen in daylight, again along the road. However, we are just a little sceptical of this piece of news as jaguars are generally nocturnal animals and not to be seen at this time of day. However, anything is possible……………And some strange, lobster-like crustaceans have been spotted at night in the smaller stream amongst the rocks and prawns. As well, some stunning butterflies, moths and other forms of invertebrate life have been seen.
We are also delighted to have the occasional and enthusiastic active collaboration and assistance from some of the volunteers working with the Arajuno Road Project which is providing educational input to community-based schools in rural areas around Puyo ( https://www.facebook.com/