West of the Fields

A tropical ecologist reporting from the field. Musings on life and art, botfly extractions, tropical plant identification, beer, parrots, machetes. Etc.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Smorgasbord of photos

Well, it has been far too long since I have put up any photos on this site. Time to remedy that! Here is a collection of highlights going back to last June.

In the days before the earthquake, I spent a day at La Selva and a couple of very restful days at Alex's farm, Finca los Nacientes. Restful in the sense that I could forget about all the troubles and pressures of life outside, and focus on the simple tasks of planting things and building things. Alex and I built some shelves in the bodega (storage shed), while Felix, William, and Gallo (Giovanny, but everyone calls him Gallo) dug a conduit for the electric fence cable to go under the road. The tree by the road to the left is a balsa (Ochroma pyramidale) that was shorter than me when I left in August! The next day we all worked together to plant the vegetable garden. I got to meet Susan la Vaca, who, like me, is tall and blond and has funny hairs that go in all directions at the back of her neck. Apparently she was bien flaca when they got her, too, but she has fattened up since then.

Here are a few photos of my new apartment in San Pablo de Heredia. I have a little terrace out back with vines growing up the walls (Ficus pumila) and orchids. You can see the tail end of one of my sheets, drying on an ingenious rack that raises and lowers with pulleys. There are also orchids hanging up on the inside walls by the stairwell. Come visit!

It was lovely to come here in the middle of winter. When I left Maine it was six below and blowing forty miles an hour, with wind chill warnings in effect. A week earlier we had a blizzard that dumped almost two feet overnight. Fortunately it was light snow, and shoveling out the car was not too difficult, even though the banks reached over my mother's head by the end of the job! She kept smiling, as usual.

I think my flight out was routed through Hoth, rather than Boston. It was definitely cold enough to freeze a tauntaun. Also, zoom in on this photo, and you can clearly see Imperial Walkers approaching the terminal!

Finally, some images from the trip to Suriname last year: the houses along the waterfront in Paramaribo, the market (exchange rate: c. 3 SRD to $1 US; those are cheap bananas!), and some images of the forest.


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