Follow by Email

jueves, 3 de enero de 2013

The Butterfly Effect by Monique Brok

People say that every choice you make influences the rest of your life. That the main road you eventually walk on during your life depends on the short sidepaths you took. Everyone takes decisions in life based on what they feel and/or think. Some were good while others were bad, but even though each choice creates doubt and confuse us by thinking about what could have been, in some cases there is no doubt about it. That ''that choice'' was one of the best you made. I feel and know that for me, going to Para la Tierra was one of them. Living in a tropical fantasy world is the best way to describe staying in Laguna Blanca at Para La Tierra. Loads of sunshine that brightens up every single day, a white beach and the clear blue lake are alike those you see in travel magazines and the soft chirping of birds create peace of mind throughout the day. But there is more, much more to be amazed by. One of the first things that caught my eye since my arrival was the gathering of numberous butterflies. They were dancing in the sky, flying around in circles and eventually creating a patch, sitting side by side. I was possessed by this occurrance, it took my breath away. From this point, I felt like I was in paradise. It made me wonder what other treasures this place would hold, what other beauties lay ahead of me. Many more, I can tell you... One day, I was sitting on the porch, doing nothing significant in particular. The sound of leaves moving drew my attention. I looked up and was paralized for a moment. I saw an Armadillo, walking just in front of me in the middle of the day. These animals are nocturnal and live underneath the ground, so that it was there was a little miracle! After the severe shock passed, I called Tom and Fionne to come and with the three of us we followed it for 15 to 20 minutes. The Armadillo wasn't scared at all, it even had a look at us back from a distance of maybe 1,5 meters before it disappeared into the bushes. Some time had passed and another Armadillo, the Naked Tail Armadillo, was found at the tourist area. All interns and volunteers jumped into the back of the car and drove to the Cerrado for its release. We all got to hold the cute animal for a little bit and afterwards released it. Within seconds, the only sign of the Armadillo was a small mound of dug up sand. It was an amazing thing to withness and I cherish the memory! What intrigered me as well were the out of proportion and weird looking insects that one way or another are beauty to the eye and occur on site, such as the Longhorned beetle which can reach the size comparable to the hand of an adult person, Cicadas that look like big mutant flies with African-like paintings on their bodies and making an alarm sound during warmer nights, the Rhino beetles that have similar head figuration as real rhino's and other insects that I previously could have only imagined to exist in the real world. Walking through the forest was one of the many things I loved during my stay at Para la Tierra. To see the beautiful sunrise in the early morning, see the forest come to life with lizards running around all over the place, woodpeckers and hummingbirds flying around, hearing the calls of the insects and all creatures settling on their place. Sometimes I was lucky and saw animals that you don't so often, such as the Black Tegu. I saw two of them and couldn't believe it in the first place. If you don't know them, look them up and you will understand perfectly what I'm talking about. I just can't describe what the experience was to see them, up close, just in front of me. You have to see them and imagine them for yourself. Both times I saw them was while conducting my research. The research I was on, together with my study buddy Fionne Kiggen, was on two Opossum species; the Gracilinanus Agilis and the Marmosa Constantae. We had 225 traps in total, scattered over the 3 beautiful habitats: the Atlantic forest, the Cerrado and the Transitional forest. We went out 6 days in a row of which the first day contained opening and baiting the traps, then four days of baiting and checking the traps for the adorable little cartoonlike animals and the last day comprised checking and closing the traps. We didn't just find the Opossum species we focussed on of course! Lizards, the white eared Opossum and cute little forest rats visited the peanutbutter-vanilla melanged traps occasionally and a lot of the big bugs sped up our heart rates countless times. In my last week, I went out to the forest because I still had to do some forest structure studies for our research. So I went to the Atlantic forest and did what I had to do. A black beautiful butterfly flew up to me and sat on me for more than 1,5 hours. After it flew off again, I felt as if it given me direction to just follow my instincts and go into the forest a little deeper. I did what my gut feelings told me and went on an adventure. After walking around for a while I found a field, where I had never been before. I just walked and walked and all of a sudden, it was there. A skull of an Armadillo. I took it with me, thinking it might be something useful for Para la Tierra. It was more than that. It was a whole new species for the reserve! This was amazing! Mindblowing! I was living on a cloud and I coulnd't have wished for a more ''fairytail-like'' ending of my stay. This was more than I have wished for! This place is not just where people and animals come close together, this place is magical. It brings out the best in you, makes you wonder where you've been and what you've been doing all your life. It makes you realize there is a world that you need to see, need to taste, to feel. For me, personally, it changed my persective on life in general, on who I am, what I want to be, what I want for my time to come. I started my own little butterfly effect just by coming here. Monique Brok Para La Tierra Intern 2012-2013 The Netherlands

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario