Equinox 2012, Caring and Maintaining

Maybe you’ve been wondering what happened to the updates, it’s been longer than usual. Life, in its exquisite beauty, if one flows with it, has taken my attention away from the normal organizational work and given me an opportunity to put my  “being of service to ALL life” statement into practice.

The two Equinoxes and two Solstices are the holidays I honor, always. They are the major changes in the yearly cycle and affect all physical manifestation, this waxing and waning of the year just as the moon behaves on the monthly cycle. It’s always interesting to watch the growing activity build from December 21st to June 21st each year. This past week I celebrated Spring Equinox, which marks the place of perfect balance between the two solstices, a feeling of stillness prevails before even more activity builds.

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Jorn Dallinga, LRFF’s super forestry intern


Jorn Dallinga is a third year forestry student from Van Hall Larenstein, University of Applied Science in the Netherlands. At the same time of his arrival the maintenance crew was working on Project Hometree here at La Reserva. Our old crew went down the road, Omar and the rest from Parcelas, and since the crew is doing such a great job maintaining the Rio Sol project we invited them to come stay at an absent neighbor’s house near LRFF headquarters and do maintenance at Project Hometree.

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Gino el Molestino, Deibys, Chavo and Jimmy working in the cold

The climate is much warmer in Guatuso where the crew live and they would normally welcome cooler weather but during their three-week stay the weather was the worst, rain, wind and cold temperatures.

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Chavo’s son, Nathaniel (Chavito) at Papa Loco, he looks very small but protected

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Deibys cooking dinner for the family at the house next door

It was like having a big family during that time. Every day the crew would show up first and then Jorn. In the evenings the crew would stay around after work for a while and sometimes return at night to visit.

Five days after Jorn arrived on Valentine’s Day an orphaned baby sloth was brought to La Reserva. We didn’t have to wait long to figure out a name, Valentino.

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Jorn feeding Valentino leaves in the morning

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Our family, Jimmy in the foreground, Eurania Acosta Elizondo (Jimmy’s sister) with Valentino, Chavo, me and Daniel

The week after Valentino arrived an adult female two-fingered sloth was brought to La Reserva. After evaluation, bandaging of her burnt hands and a light cast applied to her sprained wrist she is doing very well. We estimate her wounds will be healed in approximately two months when she can be released in the La Reserva forest.

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Mora up close, a real beauty she is

Mora was rescued by Laura Mora after being electrocuted on power lines trying to cross the highway leading out of Tilaran. She’d been living her life in a housing area and trying to survive on the scarce trees. She has already gained over a pound while recuperating. In this video you can see her “exercising” something that is such a struggle but helps her gain muscle and strength for her ultimate release. She’s now climbing not crawling.

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Ana Christina and Ana Ramirez treating Mora’s burns

LRFF/CR received a very generous donation (thank you dear friend) in February for the Rio Sol Biological Corridor and this has enabled the crew to continue the maintenance on the project. I’ve been going to Guatuso every other week to pay the crew and see the progress of maintenance and tree growth. Here’s what I’ve found…

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A yos tree planted in June 2011 at Lillian Tinoco’s

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This little frog jumped onto my phone case as we walked the corridor

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A baby Ceiba (Kapok) tree planted in June 2011

The trees above were much less than a meter tall when they were planted, June 2011. These are medium fast growers so have a look at this fast growing tree at Chino’s property planted in June as well……..

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Deibys with Chavo on his shoulders next to a Provision tree planted last June

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Julio and Lillian Tinoco’s area planted in June 2011

Here are a few photos of why the maintenance cleaning is so important. Without maintenance the trees would drown in vines and weed.

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It’s difficult to see this Lorito tree because of the vines and grass covering it. It’s only been three months since it was last cleaned.

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Chavo and Deibys replanting during the maintenance

When the crew does the maintenance on each area they always replace trees that didn’t survive since the last time they passed by. Because of this LRFF’s reforestation projects have a very low mortality rate.

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LRFF field director, Jimmy Acosta, showing a small tree planted in January 2012

Check out these before and after cleaning photos that Jimmy took…

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Before cleaning

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After cleaning, the stakes help the crew find the small trees next time

The following before and after photo is of an older reforestation project, you can really see what happens in just 4½ years……..

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Daniel and Jorn have been working on a different project this month at Rancho Margot, owned and operated by our friend Juan Sostheim. He asked Daniel to create a native tree nursery to be used by students, volunteers and visitors to reforest areas of the rancho. Daniel and Jorn also created an “orchid walk” with more than 100 species of orchids for tourists and residents to enjoy. They are on the last leg of the project this week, creating a map and index telling the species of trees and orchids so that people will be able to identify them.

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The new tree nursery at Rancho Margot

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Another view of the nursery with Jorn in the background

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Jorn enjoying his afternoon nap in the hammock after a hard days work <:D

We are beginning to revive the old REDD carbon project that we implemented almost four years ago. There is renewed interest from a new company, Green Effects Global, in London. They sent one of their representatives, Steven Sukh, to visit us this past week. He walked the Rio Sol Biological Corridor with Jimmy, Jorn, Chavo, Oto and me. He was amazed at the same things you’ve seen above but very tired from the walk in the hot sun. You’re all lucky that I don’t have to walk your asses off to give these update blogs, eh?!

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Steven, Jorn, “your fearless leader” and Oto at the now famous Yos tree

In these days leading up to the equinox I realize that I’m here to serve all of those who’ve come to me in need during this time. I thank JAH for the opportunity to be of service to all and hope you are as fortunate as I am to share this unconditional, nurturing love that is our essence with the “least of the least”.

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Mora and Squeak, LRFF’s resident cat, taking an afternoon siesta together

And above all, for ALL life on Earth…….

LET’S GET PLANTING!!

 

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