142 Photos - Jun 7, 2009
Photo: It never rains in the Atacama desert. This bromeliad is the only species of plant that can survive on the hills by capturing water from fog. About a dozen species of bacteria live in the soil under the plant, making this one of the simplest ecosystems on earth.Photo: Fishing boats in Paracas Bay.Photo: Hauling in anchoviesPhoto: Sea lions on Isla San GallanPhoto: More sea lions; there were thousandsPhoto: Landslide causes by the 2006 earthquake that leveled nearby townsPhoto: Good climbers!Photo: Boobies!Photo: Islas Ballestas, rich fishing grounds, and in the last century a massive source of guano.Photo: Guano birds - The black on top of the island are Guanay Cormorants, while the white below are Peruvian Boobies.Photo: Paracas National Park.Photo: Plant fossil at Paracas.Photo: Another plant fossil - lycopod stem.Photo: Red sand beach in Paracas.Photo: La Catedral - it used to be an arch before the 2006 earthquake.Photo: Atacama desert.Photo: Nazca lines - this one's a tree.Photo: Mummy at a burial ground near Nazca - ckeck out those dreds!Photo: Another tomb with more mummies. The tombs had all been raided before the site became a park, so the mummies and artifacts may not actually have been in this tomb originally. Waking around the site there were humab bones, old cotton cloth, and pottery shards all over the place.Photo: Driving up into the Andes.Photo: It's dry here, but you can tell it actually does rain because there are gullies. Closer to the coast in the Atacama, there were no gullies - the smooth curves of the landscape look like another world.Photo: Enough rain here to support some grass and some cool cacti.Photo: Vicuña - a wild relative of llamas and alpacas - in Pampas Galeras National Park.Photo: AlpacasPhoto: Stone corals in the high Andes.Photo: This lake is over 4000 meters (13000 feet) high.Photo: Nevados (glaciated mountains) rising over the altiplano.Photo: Flamingos!Photo: Another high elevaiton lake.Photo: Sunset over the altiplano.Photo: Miles (my advisor) teaching his Tropical Biodiversity class about plants in the dry forest. This one in a tobacco relative.Photo: A blooming dry forest tree festooned with bromeliads. (I always wanted to use that word.)Photo: An acacia with some really nasty thorns.Photo: Me, with the Cordillera Vilcambamba in the background.Photo: Going over a high pass between Pisac and Paucartambo on my way to the cloud forest.Photo: Moon over the Andes at dawn.Photo: Sunrise at Tres Cruces, looking out over the Amazon. The cloud forest starts just below.Photo: An experimental array we will use for germination experiments after we put a fence around the thing. A cow stepped on one of the tubes, pushing it about 4 inches into the ground.Photo: The field crew, ready to work! From left to right, Mauyra, Richard, and Darcy.Photo: A melastome blooming in the puna, high elevation grassland.Photo: Another puna wildflower.Photo: One morePhoto: Seedling surveys - seedlings are marked with colored toothpicks denoting when they were first seen.Photo: Epiphytic orchid blooming in a tree canopyPhoto: A really small frog.Photo: Another view of the frog. It was about the size of fingernail on my pinky.Photo: Germination experiments.Photo: Cloud forest.Photo: Darcy measuring a Weinmannia sapling.Photo: A valley in the cloud forest.Photo: A vies from the canopy.Photo: A leech! Actually the first one I've seen in five years in Peru.Photo: Climbing into the canopy.Photo: In the canopy, about 80 feet off the ground.Photo: Squirrel raiding the food - at least that's better than monkeys!Photo: Rio Kosñipata.Photo: A tower that will become part of a canopy walkway at the Wayqecha Field Station.Photo: Here's an interesting example of globalization - Njurna, the putting the walkway together in the Peruvian cloud forest, came from Nigeria just to do this.Photo: A very colorful (and cold) moth I found outside my cabaña one morning at Wayqecha.Photo: Same moth.Photo: Stunned lizard in the puna. It had fallen onto the rock at left from above and just laid there for a few minutes allowing me to photograph it. It suddenly recovered, and burrowed into the moss.Photo: Small bromeliads in the canopy.Photo: Lichens and an orchidPhoto: More epiphytesPhoto: And some morePhoto: View across the puna at dawnPhoto: Sunrise at Tres CrucesPhoto: A little laterPhoto: Morning around the kitchen table at Tres CrucesPhoto: More of the sunrisePhoto: Clouds belowPhoto: The miradorPhoto: Me and a Weinmannia. Usually this species is a large tree before it fruits, but this little bonzai was covered in fruits.Photo: Hiking down into the cloudsPhoto: Another sunrisePhoto: DittoPhoto: And againPhoto: MiradorPhoto: Oran on the edge...Photo: ...of a really big landslide!Photo: The punaPhoto: Cerro Union - the trail we work on goes down this ridge.Photo: Another sunrisePhoto: Looking down toward the foothillsPhoto: Another viewPhoto: Again - the lighting was just too good.Photo: One morePhoto: Camping in the cloud forest - the blue tarp keeps the rain off and provides a place to hang up wet clothesPhoto: And it was a wet one this year - rain almost everyday of the last tripPhoto: Around the kitchen table in the morning in the cloud forestPhoto: The canopy on a sunny morning - enjoy it while it lasts (usually only an hour or two before the clouds move in)Photo: Richard learning the ropesPhoto: Going upPhoto: The field crew, (from left to right) Richard, Darcy, Moyra, Oran, RogerPhoto: Mossy bird's nest in a tunnel along the trailPhoto: Monkeys!Photo: Wooly monkeys live in the cloud forest - they need all that fur to keep warm and dryPhoto: CuriousPhoto: Rainy river crossingPhoto: A big snailPhoto: Coming at youPhoto: Truckin' alongPhoto: Richard going upPhoto: Me in a treePhoto: The brand new canopy walkway in WayqechaPhoto: The big leaves are gunneraPhoto: Canopy walkwayPhoto: Canopy walkwayPhoto: Well, it's almost finishedPhoto: Richard on the walkwayPhoto: Josh on the walkwayPhoto: It's a ways down there!Photo: Moon before sunrisePhoto: Last dawn at Tres Cruces for this yearPhoto: Across the Andes at dawnPhoto: SunrisePhoto: The casita at Tres Cruces at dawnPhoto: Saving the best for last - the best sunrise this year was on my final day in the fieldPhoto: Sun risingPhoto: From the miradorPhoto: Another sunrise picPhoto: Along the Andean frontPhoto: MiradorPhoto: Puna and a NevadoPhoto: Going downPhoto: Eastern Andean slopePhoto: A weather station mounted in a treePhoto: The big landslidePhoto: Looking down the big landslidePhoto: At the edgePhoto: It goes all the way down to bedrockPhoto: One more viewPhoto: Photo: One island of trees still holding onPhoto: Cloud forest on a sunny morningPhoto: Tagged trees - the one in the middle is fitted with a dendrometer for measuring growthPhoto: A seed trap - leaves, fruits, flowers, and whatever other debris from the canopy falls into the trap and is collected on a monthly basisPhoto: Flowers found on the path, probably from a ClusiaPhoto: Weinmannia leaves and fruitsPhoto: Open Clusia fruitPhoto: Last lunch in the fieldPhoto: Going up