Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Scaphosepalum pleurothallodes round 2, second part

This time I decided to return to the place where Alex and I got lost since he found the type there.  So Gabriel and German came with us. We have to pick up some machetes so we will be prepared.

German and Gabriel were going to guide us but we were also prepared to trust our GPS.  We started our trip walking by the river and then into the forest through a super steep river bank that was so steep that it was difficult to look for pleurothallids, but we got super lucky and found Muscarellas, Sarcinulas, Platysteles, Dryadellas and Specklinias (all sister to Scaphosepalum).  The most incredible view were Vanilla plants along these steep hills and Aristolochia ruiziana the first time I have seen the in the wild.
We kept on climbing and we reached the same plateu were I got lost, it was a very good moment, to be there but this time with friends and ready to find this elusive Scaphosepalum.

We found Specklinias but still could not find Scaphosepalum pleurothallodes.  We started our way back and guess what...our guides got lost again.  Jeff kept on following his GPS so sooner or later we were going to get out of there but did not not want  to make our field guides feel bad so we kept on walking with them.  German and Gabriel finally gave up and we walked following the river (Jeff was still checking with his GPS and we were fine) and look what we found, you really need to watch carefully and twist your feet so you do not stand on them:

Scaphosepalum pleurothallodes won again though 3-0, the boys were relaxing by these natural swimming pools, I was completely frustrated at the time because the next day was the Ecuadorian sensus which meant we could not go out to the field and there was a curfew starting at 4 pm that day and the law of no alcohol distribution was clearly not observed in this place.  It was 5 by the time these gentlemen were drinking some refreshments...

Before I forget...The Ecuadorian census is very interesting, all the high school students receive training from the government agency and they are assigned areas where they have to go and conduct the sensus interviews, therefore, the curfew.  The sensus is performed in one day and you cannot find anyone on the street.
 Jeff being counted for the Ecuadorian sensus

During the census the Amazonian fauna enjoy the lack of humans and go for a bath in the junction of the Tena and Pano rivers. The tapir was exploring a panga (amozonian canoe) that was left there.

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