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Steel Vernier Caliper

Minding the Earth, Mending the Planet: Zen and the Art of Planetary Crisis

Night Sky


Taco Truck

There's a taco truck parked outside of the back door of my office at NYBG. Probably part of the new Frida Kahlo exhibit. New addition to the somewhat pedestrian back-door environment of the Harding Lab. [NOTE: Wonder how many other tropical ecologists have a taco truck parked outside of their office]? 


Calamus hukaungensis

Here I am in 2005, walking across a completely denuded landscape next to a gold mine (see Worth A Thousand Words) in the Hukaung Valley Tiger Reserve (see Hukaung Valley Rattan Survey – and numerous other posts) holding a bunch of spiny stems of a new rattan species, Calamus hukaungensis A.J. Hend. Lot that I like about this image, in addition to the new species: the orange collecting gloves (I still have these), the villager in the background, the morning fog, the desolation, and my green "Hukaung Valley Rattan Survey" baseball cap (which I also still have). 

A close-up of C. hukaungensis is shown below. The bristly ocrea and slender, sparse spines give it away. Click here for the original species description (Taiwanea 52(2):152-158, 2007). Nice job, Andrew. [NOTE: I think U Tun Shaung took the top photo (thx, Tun Shaung)].


Edible Plants in Orchard

List of the 43 edible plant species planted in one of the demonstration orchards at the Kandawgyi Botanical Garden in Pyin Oo Lwin (see Kandawgyi). With Burmese name, common name, botanical name, and plant family. And, of course, we went through and tried to find each one. [NOTE: Full disclosure, we had trouble locating all 10 of the Citrus species].



Oronjia Forest

Off next week to northern Madagascar to give a five-day workshop on sustainable forest use by communities. Fieldwork will concentrate on the dry decidous forests of the new Oronjia protected area (inside red circle). The workshop is being organized in collaboration with the Missouri Botanical Garden (thx, Chris), who has a long history of botanical exploration in Madagascar. Looking forward to the trip.


Going On Patrol

Early morning servicing of the motors at the Htamanthi Wildlife Sanctuary Forward Station (see How Tall Is That Teak Tree? and Sandstorm). Once the motors are working well, they are attached to long boats (see below) and filled with a team of rangers who will navigate into the backwaters of the Htamanthi Wildlife Sanctuary and spend two weeks walking through the forest looking for poachers or loggers or gold miners. They will be replaced by a similar team who works a different sector of the protected area. Two weeks hiking, two weeks off. These are some gnarly young men.