February 2015

This month there have been some amazing thunderstorms, and also some very dry days in a row which is rather unusual for this time of year – strange days! At the same time, when there are storms, there is often  tree damage – many of the trees are very ‘top-heavy’ as they are often full of bromeliads, lianas, orchids and many other plant species higher up in the branches, so that when a wind does blow, the weakened branches come crashing down.

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So, several of the paths around the hillsides have been blocked by falling branches and tree dwelling plants and some time has been spent undertaking some clearance work and there is plenty more to do………there are many parts of the land yet to be visited and properly investigated – keeping these paths open will enable this to happen at some point.

A  ‘quite small’ rescue took place this month – a young whip snake rescuesnake of about 25cm length was spotted wandering, lost, inside on the floor of the Bar Desigual in Puyo town one weekend late at night. It was helped into a convenient container and, the following morning, was released on wooded land outside of town. 

It was a pleasure to welcome two new visitors to the land this month. Tamara spent a OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAfew days helping with land maintenance and clearance work, as did Jan who also helped out at Jardín Botánico “Las Orquídeas” (  http://www.jardinbotanicolasorquideas.com/ ) with our supporter and very good friend and colleague Omar Tello  – who is an active member of our Equipo Directivo (“Management Committee”). Thanks to both for their help, support and sense of humour! Jan also helped to excavate the next space for the relocation of our ‘mobile’ toilet – which was a great relief! Also he helped with the collection of more fallen plants from around the roadside that were relocated within the Fundación’s land. Some refurbishment of the disturbed land around the quarantine/clinic has also begun, with some fallen logs put in place and some appropriate plants placed around.

Work has started, also, on marking out the areas where it is planned to construct future toilet and shower, and accommodation areas, and where it should be possible to build appropriate-sized animal enclosures – one of which will be an annexe to the quarantine area. Once the windows and doors are on the quarantine/clinic, these will be the next major projects for the Fundación. Planning appropriate waste disposal will be part of that process and a number of ideas are being considered – including ‘dry’ toilets, a filtered septic tank system, amongst others. The possibility of future enclosures within the forest area will also be investigated, although there are very few flat areas and there are issues about building anything too close to the trees for the aforementioned reasons. 

This link is to an article regarding a ‘lost’ amphibian species recently re-located in Ecuador – some more good news……….

http://news.mongabay.com/2015/0130-gfrn-parkman-rediscovered-andean-toad.html?n3ws1ttr

Spotted in Puyo, this month, was a sign tied to one of the few trees ‘landscaped’ into the streets, outside a local shop. It said “Soy una planta no un basurero” which translated means: “I am a plant, not a rubbish bin”. Well said! -whoever it was that placed that there (and it’s still there, too!).

I am a plant not a rubbish bin

And, finally, this message/quote was circulated in an email sent recently and it seems reasonable to pass on……………..

‘but though we dream, we are not dreamers – and we’re not going away’.