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If a tree falls on our bridge, and no one is around to hear it…..

October 17, 2013


Image  Well… it definitely makes our job here a bit tougher when a tree falls on the bridge.  In reality, not as bad as it sounds or might look, but it’s definitely a reminder of humility out here.  Fortunately, with the help of the reserve’s friend Artemio, the bridge is already back online and will be back to 100% normal very soon.

And besides slight surprises like that, life and work here on the reserve are going along very well and without problems.  We’ve been blessed with a few more overnight guests which have been very welcome and some really enthusiastic day visitors as well.  The rains are picking up and we are seeing different bird species more regularly.

Also, because the rains have been picking up (and it’s only the start of the rainy season)  we have decided to focus on tasks which should be finished before the full wet season arrives.  Specifically that means getting more native plants into the garden area and focusing on trail maintenance.

Regarding the native plant garden area we have planted, here are a few of what we have so far:

Image“totora” Cyclanthaceae Aslundia

Young leaves edible, taste similar to asparagus.


Gesneriaceae Gasteranthus

Gaster-anthus literally means “stomach flower”; used as astringent.


Very young “Naranjilla, Lulo” Solanaceae Solanum Quitoensis

Native and cultivated for edible fruit.  Used to make jams, jellies, juice, etc.


“Salvias, Sage” Lamiaceae Salvia Scutellarioides

Stimulant, tonic, and an anti-spasmodic


“Guaduca” Piperaceae Sarcorhachis Sydowii

Used to make tea for upset stomach and/or for flavor.  Smells and tastes similar to black pepper.

So we’re very excited about the progress with the native plants!

Trail maintenance has also been a focus recently, and we’re proud to report that not only are the trails under regular upkeep but we’ve also begun improvements including stairs, drains, erosion control, and path widenings.  To date we’ve managed to add or repair 31 different steps (small example below), add 5 drains to prevent pooling, and dig back the backslope in 2 main areas to widen the trail.  We’re really hoping it will help to reduce the overall work load for future managers regarding the trail system.



And finally, we’re very happy to report our most recent addition to the reserve: a separate information/welcome kiosk.   The information is rotational and can be changed, but currently it focuses on the reserve itself, Life Net Nature as an organization, our trail system, and a separate section for the Gallos de la Peña.  We thought it would be a good idea to have information more accessible to visitors, especially when we’re away from the cabin working.


6 Comments leave one →
  1. Tom Lord permalink
    October 18, 2013 5:24 am

    So sorry to hear about the bridge guys, what a pain. Love the information board – it looks great. Are you seeing any more euphonias or tanagers (or anything) on the feeders? Or are they still a disaster…?!


    • November 9, 2013 1:24 pm

      Ha well the Tanagers have backed off just a bit unfortunately, but I think I read from you in one of the journals here that they get more consistant during the rainy season? We’ll keep our fingers crossed!


  2. October 18, 2013 9:48 am

    Great job on the Kiosk! Hope the fruit trees in the orchard are being weeded and cared for, too. Glad to hear you are getting help to repair the bridge and have enough funds to cover it. Good work!


  3. Kate permalink
    October 19, 2013 3:06 am

    Was it the tree that was girdled from the bridge being attached to it? Knew we should have cut that one!


    • November 9, 2013 1:25 pm

      You guessed it! And the even larger one right next to the bridge is looking precarious as well. Might have to make a move on that one too!


  4. Micah permalink
    November 14, 2013 2:09 am

    The bridge again? Glad to hear your making progress. Still the coolest job site I ever worked at.


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