November 2015

Hola! Well, this month the dry season became the wet season again, as ‘rain stopped play’ on several occasions, just as for the previous two or three months the over-intense sunshine did the same! 

The team has continued removing what remains of the unwanted grass around the ‘base-site’, and beginning the creation of what may become another path to the lower stretches of the river on the land – possibly to be known as Heliconia Way! The bare soil is being covered with tree bark brought from the roadway below with the assistance of Pete’s sterling stallion, Cyclops (he of the one eye). This horse was ‘rescued’ by Pete (for a price!) from quite a miserable existence and it is quite amazing to see how well the animal has recovered after some rest and recreation, although the vampire bats have been paying some attention to his ears – however now treated and healed! 

A temporary replacement shower has been erected to replace the older one which fell down – although it is slightly more open-plan than the previous version ie it has no roof or door……………….. 

With our lawyer, we continue to pursue the case against our tree-cutMuscovy Duckting/removing neighbour; we are also asking for an audience with the alcalde (mayor) of Mera to try gain his support in the issue of the boundary lines between ourselves and our neighbours. Speaking of neighbours, one of our neighbouring Muscovy ducks has arrived back on the new pond and is refusing to budge! An eviction order is being processed……..!

On the land there have been many sightings of different birds, insects, new flowers, etc. In particular, Pete and Glen have been observing the mating behaviour of some local Caciques (smaller relatives of the Oropendolas).

These birds are very skillful in weaving nests and in most cases Caciques and Oropendolas are colonial builders, often nesting together on the same or nearby trees in clearings or near water but never inside the deep forest. The nests hang like large baskets from the branches of tall trees. They are mostly black or dark brownish withyellow or sometimes red tails and markings on their body and possess a sharply pointed bill and strong feet. They are gregarious birds and there are eight species present in forests from the tropical lowlands up to the subtropical cloud forests. At least two species have been seen on and around the Fundación’s land. 

So work continues on planning the next stages of development on the land  – the priorities being accommodation/kitchen area; and toilet-shower block. The Asemblea General (Annual General Meeting) of the Fundación takes place in December and one of the priorities of the new Equipo Directivo (Management Committee) will be to decide how to take this work forward. Again some folk have asked that I upload the photos onto our Flickr page rather then send them as attachments. As I haven’t yet quite done this yet, and you have to delete the message as it is too large for your mailbox, here is the link to follow through…  https://www.flickr.com/photos/fdla-group/  Maybe next time……….

And some links that might be of some interest……………..

http://news.mongabay.com/2015/11/latin-american-illegal-wildlife-trade-exploding-in-scope-and-scale/

http://news.mongabay.com/2015/10/oil-roads-to-ecological-ruin-ecuadors-bushmeat-and-wildlife-trade/

http://news.mongabay.com/2015/07/seed-dispersal-by-fruit-eating-bats-essential-to-tropical-reforestation