Archive for January, 2011

Living Fence with Coral Bean Trees

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Last August we stuck 4 foot cut branches of the coral bean tree (Erythrina sp.) into the ground along the fence that borders our road and lower pastures. This is a species of tree whose branches will root and eventually sprout leaves eventually becoming trees. You can make a living fence of these trees and save the time and labor of replacing rotting fence posts every 5 years. Not to mention the need to cut young trees in the forest for posts. These photos were taken January 2011, 5 months after they were stuck in the ground. Almost 90% sprouted. This tree has beautiful red tubular red flowers. This stretch of our road may become hummingbird alley within 3-5 years.

Cassiopeia Bajareque and MTCF Homestead

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

A misty cloud forest does not evoke an image of clear starry nights. With the rainy season now finally behind us the nocturnal view you see above is often possible during the summer (dry season) from December through May. At 6000 feet above sea level with zero light pollution (except for our homestead) the stars and milky way shine with an intensity reminiscent of the desert.
Cassiopeia is visible as is the milky way and the curtain of clouds draping the ridge top behind the homestead is the classic Bajareque weather pattern. These clouds will ascend and descend the ridge reaching the homestead and it is not uncommon during this season of the year for this blanket of mist to shift several times in a day through the landscape.
When guests inquire to come visit Mount Totumas Cloud Forest we emphasize that the reward of the adventurous journey on the 9km 4WD road is the isolated tropical montane wilderness that you find when you arrive. This image portrays the sense of solitude possible when visiting MTCF. You can’t help but feel awed and humbled by the immensity of the space. You leave the over crowded world behind and you have a chance when visiting to discharge some of the digital noise that more and more is overcrowding our heads these days.

Thanks to Russ Fill who photographed this scene.