October 15-19, 2007
There was a reduced watering load with the rains from last week, and we took advantage of it by beginning work on preparing revegetation sites for 2008 and taking a field trip to San Clemente.
On Monday Moyuyo stakes were cut on a piece of land near Punta Bellaca. We walked down the beach to get there and into the hillsides to look for harvestable Moyuyo trunks. Moyuyo is a fast growing shrub, the branches of which can be harvested, without killing the plant, for use as posts in fence making. These Moyuyo stakes will become part of fencing for two sites in the Maria Dolores watershed, where livestock threaten revegetation efforts. The day was spent bushwhacking and selectively cutting posts.
Another group of volunteers went to the greenhouse to water and plant more beds of Cedro, Caoba and Balsamo seeds.
Tuesday everyone went back to the Punta Bellaca land to cut more stakes and carry out what had been chopped the day before. Ricardito met us at low tide on the beach to help drive the posts back to the house.
Wednesday the Bosque Encantado revegetation site was watered, as well as the greenhouse. In the afternoon we repainted the shower in the apartment and did house cleaning. Cori continued work on translating the Bioregional Education booklet from Spanish into English so that it can be shown off in the States. It’s almost ready.
On Thursday morning we set out for San Clemente, about an hour south of Bahia by bus. A friend of ours from the Cordillera el Balsamo group had invited us eco-amigos on a trip to visit his nature preserve, Peñon del Sol. He has a beautiful piece of dry tropical forest overlooking the ocean just north of the town of San Clemente.
That afternoon he led us on a rugged tour of the land which resulted in much machete-ing to help find the ‘trail.’ On his land there are examples of a very large eight-year old Moyuyo revegetation site (1,000 plantings), as well as several Guayacans which were planted nearly eighteen years ago.
A row of Guayacans next to an eroding gully is pictured here. Both were planted in the interest of erosion control.
There is also a piece of untouched primary forest, which we walked by on the hike. An ornithologist from Darwinnet counted several dozen different bird songs.
We stayed over night and returned Friday morning. It was an excellent trip, and helpful to see other examples of revegetation, as well as an opportunity to learn more about other species with which Planet Drum should begin to work more. Two of the highlight species include Zapote de Perro and Barbasco (several of the fruits are visible in the ‘vista’ photo), both of which are hardy, native trees, do well in very dry climates and on slopes and additionally bear fruit that provide food for deer and other dry tropical mammals, such as squirrels.
After getting back on Friday we went to the greenhouse where the plants were watered and more soil and bottles were prepared for transplanting. From there we walked to the Maria Dolores and Don Pepe sites to water. That afternoon my friend Dan, who spent the past two weeks volunteering with us, had to say goodbye and head home. Thanks for pitching in!