Birds and More | All Blogs


GREEN MANSIONS

By Nic.Korte

I hear a soft scuffle behind me. Holding my breath, I wait. A Puma? A Jaguar? More likely a Tamamdua (silky anteater) or an agouti (a large rodent). A healthy jaguar population exists a very few miles away, but here at Costa Rica's Las Cruces Biological station, I am probably too near the village of San Vito. The scuffle is that of a young jogger--probably a graduate student working with the tropical plants for which the Las Cruces Biological Station is famous.

(Visitor cabins at Las Cruces)

Light on her feet, she trots on by with a smile and a wave. A young woman running in the jungle led me to think of the novel, Green Mansions by W.H. Hudson. The book, set in the American Neotropics, is a fable about how the innocent are often misunderstood and destroyed. One of the book’s main characters is Rima, a young girl who lives in harmony with the wilderness. Other inhabitants find her confusing and frightening and decide she is the cause of any misfortunes they encounter. Eventually, they find her and kill her. The plot is an apt metaphor for what I have been seeing. The overwhelming fecundity and beauty of the tropical jungle is easy to romanticize. Unfortunately, my next realization is how much has been destroyed because it wasn’t understood.

A few decades ago, the jogger would have been dodging either cattle or coffee plants. But, just thirty years before that, this area was wilderness. In the 1950s and 1960s, settlers, including Europeans and North Americans, decided the area was suitable for agriculture. One of those early settlers, now in his 80s, has published two books about their struggles. He begs forgiveness from future generations. "We didn't know what we were doing," he says. He explains that if they had understood the soil, and the complexity of the natural environment, they would have known their efforts were doomed. The area was too steep, the soils, as always in the rainforest, were too poor. Now, much of the area consists of exposed and eroded soils and shrubby, brushy areas indicative of unwise land use.

Fortunately, some of the nearby highlands were not so heavily settled, and are mostly preserved today as part of the La Amistad National Park—a UNESCO World Heritage Site comprised of more than 570,000 hectares in the Talamanca Mountains of Costa Rica and Panama. At lower elevations, there are still a few forest remnants, and there are restorations such as the location where I encountered the jogger.

 (Green Honeycreepers are common at Las Cruces)

This area was reclaimed by Robert and Catherine Wilson who had owned a tropical nursery in Florida. Hence, another name for the Las Cruces Biological Station is the Wilson Botanical garden. Through their knowledge and hard work, and with financial support from an English patron, the Wilson's established a world-famous garden.

 (Lush tropical vegetation abounds at Las Cruces)

In 1973, the garden became part of the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS), a nonprofit consortium of universities and research institutions from the US, Costa Rica, Peru, Mexico, South Africa, and Australia. Subsequently, the OTS purchased some nearby forest remnants such that the location has become well-known for its birdlife as well as its plants. 

(Can you guess the common name of this butterfly? How about an 88?!)

The OTS does important work educating the next generation of tropical researchers, and also provides training for teachers and students from all over the world. I have visited all three of the OTS locations in Costa Rica. I am always encouraged when I encounter some of the researchers and students. I am delighted these places exist for their benefit and ours. The work of the OTS is essential if we are to prevent future land use errors and restore some of the mistakes of the past. If you would like to become an "amigo” of OTS, check out their website: http://www.ots.ac.cr.


This post provided by Nic Korte, Grand Valley Audubon Society. Send questions/comments to nkorte1@hotmail.com]To learn more and to participate in the activities of Grand Valley Audubon, please see our website at audubongv.org and “like” us on Facebook!]

COMMENTS

Please Login or Register to leave a comment.

Really like your blog content the way you put up the things. I’ve read the topic with great interest and definitely will stick your blog routinely for other great posts. jual baja ringan batangan

<ul><li>Moncler jassen outlet online</li><li>Moncler</li><li>Moncler</li></ul>

<ul><li>Moncler jassen outlet online</li><li>Moncler</li><li>Moncler</li></ul>

moncler jassen

moncler jassen

Birds and more entry of the information is the actual ambit for the success and honor. The essence of the blog is related to the entry of the priceless connotation for the essay writings for good and interesting field. The blog is totally intellectual and academic in nature for the students.

I can see that you are an expert at your field! I am launching a website soon, and your information will be very useful for me.. Thanks for all your help and wishing you all the success in your business.  xiaomi redmi 4a

Thanks a ton! This is definitely an good online site low price medication

<ul><li> vente de vestes Moncler</li><li>Moncler vestes hommes</li><li> Moncler Coats</li></ul>

<ul><li> vente de vestes Moncler</li><li>Moncler vestes hommes</li><li> Moncler Coats</li></ul>

Thanks for sharing this forum post!! it was very informative and helpful!! All your posts have very relevant content and are resourceful! Keep posting! looking forward to your future posts!
Now you can make your own website availing the best hosting experience with huge discounts exclusive on
http://techlogitic.net/bluehost-coupon-code-and-discounts/




Recent Posts
KNOWING BIRDERS…AND PHOTOGRAPHERS…AND OWL PROWLS
By Nic.Korte
Saturday, June 3, 2017

LOUDY-SIMPSON MIGRANT TRAP
By Nic.Korte
Sunday, May 14, 2017

TIME FOR A CHAT (A DOUBLE ENTENDRE FOR EARTH DAY)
By Nic.Korte
Sunday, April 23, 2017

WISDOM’S WISDOM OR HUMAN WISDOM?
By Nic.Korte
Friday, April 7, 2017

Tech Education a Must for Tech-Starved Mesa County
By David Goe
Friday, March 31, 2017


TOP JOBS




THE DAILY SENTINEL
734 S. Seventh St.
Grand Junction, CO 81501
970-242-5050; M-F 8:00 - 5:00
Editions
Subscribe to print edition
E-edition
Advertisers
eTear Sheets/ePayments
Information

© 2017 Grand Junction Media, Inc.
By using this site you agree to the Visitor Agreement and the Privacy Policy