Exploring a true jungle
The whole farm consists of two parts. In one part almost all the trees have been felled and gras for cattle feeding has been seeded. The other part is still a real forest. Nothing has been done there. Back in July we took our horses into that real jungle and explored it with the help of our neighbor and his ten year old son. It turned out that this ten year old boy is a real forest expert. He knows a lot about the trees and other plants. He can find fruits and would probably be able to survive there. Father and son spend a lot of time out there so despite the young age he has years of experience.
That’s where we will be going. The picture shows the area where the forest meets the grazing ground. We started our exploration a bit to the right and stay on top of the ridge which is outside the picture.
Shortly after entering the forest we had to start cutting our way through the brushwood with the machete. One of us was opening a path while the others on horses followed.
Meet Jose the ten year old forest expert. As you can see he knows how to work the machete. No, we did not let him open the path for the rest of the group. That’s what Luis, myself and Jose’s father did. Still he wanted to help and swung the machete like a pro.
The forest is full of very tall and thick trees. They called this one a “maria tree”. I’m not sure what the name of this species in English might be. It is very tall and straight and according to them the wood is good for construction.
In the middle of the jungle we found this open space. Look closer and you will see that the dirt has been moved around. This place is full of termites that live underground. They eat dead wood and basically clean the forest.
Termites wasn’t the only thing we found there. We found foot tracks of a large cat. Unfortunately I forgot to take a pictures of those tracks. Panama has Pumas and Jaguars and a few others. We need to learn more about that. They were talking about a Tiger but I believe they just call it a Tiger. It has to be one of the species this page talks about.
Still it can indeed be dangerous to walk alone around those woods. We met in the middle of the jungle the person with the blue shirt. As you can see he carries a rifle. There are not only large cats in these woods but also poisonous snakes and other predators. A machete might not be enough.
The more we learn it gets clearer and clearer that this is not a wilderness park or zoo but the real jungle.
On Flickr I have more pictures of our jungle exploration. Click on any of the thumbnails to see the whole set:
What do we intend to do with the jungle? I think we need to preserve it for several reasons.
First that part is important to make sure we have water and all the creeks. The rainforst sweats during the day and at night rain falls. If you fell all the trees, then you basically stop that cycle from working and the land will dry out.
Second there has been enough devastation done around us so we don’t have to do more damage.
Third the jungle may be an interesting place for some kind of ecotourism activity we may want to start later. I can think of a few wooden cabins to accomodate maybe up to 10 people and we may create secure paths to show them what nature has to offer. That might be interesting.
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