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A day in the life

November 28, 2013

Well our time here at Las Tangaras is sadly drawing to a close.  We feel lucky to have been given the opportunity to manage this place and all the beauty it contains and will miss it very much.  For our last blog post, we thought it might be nice to give a rough idea of what daily life is like out here.

Most our days start at dawn when the birds start singing, but once a week (sometimes twice) we get up just before 5AM to get to the Lek for the Cock-of-the-Rock data collection.  The mornings up there are really unique, beautiful, and peaceful.  Previous manager Tom Lord created a new mapping system for monitoring the displaying males´ locations, which Emme is adding to below.

Recently we have had some help on our avian front! Las Tangaras has had a volunteer whose excitement and knowledge of birds combine to create a very motivated and valuable lady! Nikki spent a little over a week with us and we very much enjoyed having her help, excitement and expertice around. Thanks Nikki! Check out Nikki¨s blog to read more about her time at Las Tangaras, see pictures of the lodge, delicious food, birds,  the property and lek as well as her work in Conservation Medicine.

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After the lek has been visited it´s time to pay attention to our other, much bolder avian friends, and feed the hummingbirds.  This gets combined with recording their numbers and eating breakfast which ends up equaling potentially the nicest and most relaxing “job requirement” either of us can really remember having, so on slow days we like to put in a moment of overtime on this one.

When breakfast and hummingbirds finish, we start the mornings work.  Although we´ve been blessed with an unbelievable stretch of clear weather in November (over 15 days without a rainstorm!) we are still in the habit of expecting afternoon showers so try and get the work away from the cabin finished before that happens.  Our mornings thus get filled with lots of work on the trails and property.  This work doesn´t lend itself very easily to being photogenetic but here is a picture of Andrew clearing out the orchard (the care and preparation of which has been a fairly big priority for us during our time here)

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A huge part of living on the Reserve is finding personal hobbies that can keep your mind a bit challanged.  We often take time for this during the afternoon rains.   Andrew has been keeping up with his Spanish Studies, making his way through language textbooks as well as Ecuadorian Readers to get a better understanding of the country we are living in. Emme has been working hard on botanical illustration, practicing her watercoloring of various species and techniques as often as possible.  We thank the pace of life at the Reserve to give us time to enhance our skills! Below Emme sketches an apple before painting.


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A post lunch swimming break

A post lunch swimming break

It would not exactily be a full day without taking advantage of the abosolutely beautiful Rio Nambillo and its many swimming holes. We have explored up and down this river, but often find it helpful to take a post lunch dip to get the blood flowing again.  And by this we mean, Andrew likes to take a dip… a little too cold for Emme.

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We feel it would not be right to skip a mention about a task we dedicate many hours to… washing laundry. We have both lived in quite a few places that require handwashing laundry, but this place is by far the most luxurios. Fresh, extremly clean water right at our finger tips from a stream far up hill on the property helps to get our laundry sparkling clean.  A woman in India once told us that she believed she could get laundry cleaner than a washing machine, and this was using water from a muddy creek… with our water here at Las Tangaras, this statement just might be true!

After the afternoon comes to a close, we enjoy the resurgence of all the hummingbirds feeding on the porch, while listening to the evening sounds of the cloud forest. Life out here does not sound half bad does it? And for this reason, we are sad to leave, but thankful for our time here. Thank you Las Tangaras! We hope you find the time to come visit this very special place.

Until next time,

Andrew and Emme

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 28, 2013 12:54 pm

    Fantastic! Nice ending of your work at the reserve. Thanks so much for all you have been doing!

    Dr. Dusti Becker LIFE NET NATURE 520-384-3886

    “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” – Aldo Leopold

    “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead


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