Capturing the photo of the Jaguar at Cloudbrdge marks the return of Central America’s ultimate predator and a sign of the improved health of the Cloudbridge environment. It has been amazing to watch the wildlife return as Cloudbridge has transitioned from barren cattle pastures to an evolving secondary cloud forest. To see what two individuals, Ian & Jenny Giddy, have accomplished over just 14 years since they purchased Cloudbridge North is an example of what individuals can do to rebuild a landscape that has been decimated by human misguided actions. In todays world as we all begin to face our changing climate due to over-extraction of natural resources we need to ask ourselves how can we make a difference. There is so much that we all can do. We can write a letter to the editor of a local paper or educate our political leaders. We can even get radical and give up eating meat and transition to a plant based diet or we could join the protest at Standing Rock. Regardless of what we do, it has passed the time to do nothing, so each of us needs to step up to the greatest challenge facing mankind in our lifetime and take action. Wildlife like this jaguar might then have a chance to be a viable species on this planet.
Volunteers and Research:
Laura Antonaru is a masters student in Molecular Plant and Microbial Sciences from the Imperial College London. She is studying the understory, both the herbaceous and shrub layers. She is looking at those plants eaten by catapillars and trying to map an association between the two.
Kristin Bell is on a scientific illustration internship from the Science Illustration program at California State University. She has just finished an art degree in illustration and is making some beautiful images for printed material. Here is a shot of her with an rhinoceros beetle.
Danny Guy is an intern from Global Vision International, Jalova base in Tortuguero Natinoal Park where he worked on the jaguar project. He is with us for 3 weeks working with the camera traps. In this photo he is spraying Calvin Klein Obssession on the scent stick which seems to attract the cats close to the camera trap.
Beth Ramsey – Oregon, USA Beth has come to Cloudbridge to volunteer and spend some time relaxing. She says » I am anxious to get some plant species knowledge and help out on that front as much as possible. I have been out clearing spots for reforestation and planting. Plus working in the garden and working on trail maps and web stuff. I am going to help out with cleaning up the rentals too.»
Beth is also assisting the researchers and gathering information for the blog.
The relaxation must be kicking in as she has already written a poem. This is the first poem she has ever written, at least the first outside of a school assignment.
Giving Presence at Cloudbridge
Often the force is too great,
there is a no choice but to rush,
inadvertently making the calm
so much more indulgent.
River over slippery rock and moss,
free-falling into the next challenge,
busy, breaking logs, crashing stone,
until eddy lullabies a sweet circular trance.
Hummingbird practices dance,
white oak bends, stretched downward,
butterfly quickly sips nectar and retreats,
as the daily afternoon rain comes down.
A wild rodeo of nature,
owned by none, no need for influence,
simple opportunity for lathering the soul,
humbling the experience as larger than our own.
Fun at the Reserve:
Clockwise from Jenn in the blue shirt, we have Sam (England, Birds), Neza (Slovenia, horticulture), Oscar and Barney (England, Frogs), Sarah (Australia, Birds), Kristen (Oregon, Illustration for publications and maps), Britt (Netherlands, Fruit around Bird plots), Ignatio (Argentina, Volunteer), Laura (Romania – Plants), Beth (USA), Sam (England, Cats ), Philip and his wife (temporary visitors) – did a couple bat surveys. They caught 10 bats, one of which was new to cloudbridge.
Happy Birthday this month to Jenny Giddy, owner of Cloudbridge and longtime environmentalist. She is an inspiration to all of us!
From the camera traps.