May 2014

Hello, again from the rainy (tho’ also very sunny) rainforest!

This month has been very fast in disappearing – everything is growing quickly, there have been several ‘new’ animal visitors, and friends from afar have come to see the conservation site, too…….

It has been grand to welcome back our good friend, the biologist, zoologist and conservationist, David Jackson, from his sojourn in the UK. Although very busy with his work with the Andean Bear Foundation, (http://www.andeanbear.org/ ), he has managed to spend some time at the Conservation Centre, and as ever, has made some excellent suggestions and spotted more rare and unusual visitors. These include a ‘glass’ tree frog not seen before (species unknown – it hopped off before it could be identified), and the exotically named birds – the Tyrannine Woodcreeper, the Amazon White-tailed Trogon and a Masked Tityra. All in a single day! One of his other interesting suggestions is to construct atop the new quarantine/clinic, a hide/observation tower! Excellent idea, as the roof is already at more-or-less canopy height of some of the Fundacion land, and increasing the height further will add to the ability to observe a greater variety of bird and other animal wildlife. Good one, Dave – this is now added to the long-term “To Do List”! (This might also be a very good place to put a hammock – for observation purposes, of course!)

It has been delightful to welcome to the ‘Centre in Creation’, John and Louise from Australia, who have been long-term supporters of the work here, and were previously volunteers with us on other projects, and also Erica from France, Spain and Madagascar! They spent some time having a look round the land, visiting the dam area, the waterfall, the new building, and also spent some time helping to clear grass from one of the areas at the entrance to the site. Whilst informing folk to keep a look out at all times for snakes and other such interesting animals, someone (who shall remain nameless) managed to step on a small Equis (the most venomous snake in the Americas)! No harm was done, although the snake was rather bemused and slid off into the undergrowth – disappearing very quickly as it is so well camouflaged. However, this was a timely reminder to always keep an awareness of the surroundings!

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More endemic seeds have been collected and sown, and more clearing work undertaken. It is now becoming to difficult to find areas to plant more trees as the few open areas remaining are zoned for constructing accommodation and enclosures in the future, and it’s not a good idea to plant trees which may grow to great heights close to the future buildings.

Work continues with Richard in the UK, the chairperson of the Flor de la Amazonia Group there (www.flordelaamazonia.org), on funding applications to support the work here, and Sarah, Lucy, Melanie and others have been working on finding and raising funds, also. Many thanks to all, including the other committee members – Mike and Keith – for their work in supporting us here.

Here is some news regarding a new animal discovery here in Ecuador……

http://news.mongabay.com/2014/0523-emerald-faced-lizard-ecuador.html?n3ws1ttr

Finally, here are a few lines (slightly paraphrased – from “The Voice”) written by Rupert Brooke (1887-1915) sent recently (thanks, Melanie), which are rather appropriate………

Safe in the magic of the woods

I lay, and watched the dying light.

Faint in the pale high solitudes,

And washed with rain and veiled by night.