Friday, March 30, 2012

Scaphosepalum breve, Scaphosepalum globosum and some more at the Master of all Teagueia territory

The master of all Teagueias is my dear friend Lou Jost.  We met in 1997when I was working in my Dracula thesis and my co-advisor Nigel Pitman introduced us.  Later on, Lou started talking about this pleurothallid genus Teagueia that I had not heard about.  Been a pleurothallid enthusiast it was a bit embarrasing for me not to know them but it was a small genus (four species) until Lou came an discovered fifty more. Yes 30!

Lou lives literally surrounded by orchids and the best part of it is that he lives next to the very active Tungurahua volcano, so in the next picture, after the Sobralia, there is a cloud right? That is a vapor cloud from the volcano that just erupted and the cone is hiding behind the cloud.

View from Lou's house

Teagueias are sister to Scaphosepalums and that is another reason why I visited Lou in Banhos because we have an ongoing project plus I have been searching for other variations of Scaphosepalum breve and also looking for Scaphosepalum globosum, a species that Carl Luer separated from Scaphosepalum odontochilum.

These pictures were taken on the river sides of the Pastaza river at Mache, Lou and his NGO Ecominga purchased some of the land of this area to protect the high diversity and endemism. Lou's efforts are 
incredible and I am really honored to be his friend and sort'a collaborator.

These are some Scaphosepalums covered in volcanic ashes that Lou helped me with!! 

 Scaphosepalum ovulare
 Scaphosepalum globosum
Scaphosepalum odontochilum

Having fun in the Pailon del Diablo, believe it or not there are tons of orchids hanging from the bridge.  Did not have the nerve to stop in the middle of it to id them...

The following pictures were taken in Lou's Ecominga Rio Anzu Reserve.  This place is spectacular, most of the following pictures are to honor Lou's work.  Wish there will be more Ecuadorians like Lou!

This picture is awesome, this is a monument of Richard Spruce, an early explorer of Ecuador, his book is a must read.  Lou is a fan and he has been after several species that Spruce discovered but were lost and I really like the fact that a botanist sculpture made it to such special place in the heart of diversity and endemism. 

Before I forget....I love that along the roads there are so many truck with funny names or paintings, for example this truck is called "El mil Amores" The Thousand Loves. How can you get bored in these roads?
 This is a "cuy" (guineae pig) rotisserie. I am not a fan of any animal product and I have observed with interest how many foreigners would like to try "cuy".  This is a picture of it, it smells better than it looks. Will not try one, even if my Ecuadorian citizenship requires me too.

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