Ever since I was a child I wanted to see the rainforest… or live in the rainforest.
Now I do and it’s wonderful.
Unfortunately, our area is a regrowth forest with less species diversity than should be here.
Our neighborhood used to be almost nothing but fields of sugarcane sometime last century… but the rainforest is reclaiming much of the now uncultivated soil.
There are much wilder areas within a day’s drive but we haven’t been able to get a vehicle yet, so those wilder forests must wait to be explored.
Even in our newer rainforest here, there is a lot to see. Every time I go on a hike I find something new or exciting.
For example, on my last hike I encountered multiple interesting creatures and plants worth sharing.
A Ganoderma Mushroom!
The first of my finds was a gnarly ganoderma mushroom of some sort.
These are the famous “reishi” mushrooms of Eastern medicine.
I have found these before back in Florida, though not the same species.
The Floridian ones are definitely prettier – take a look:
All are supposed to be medicinal. I will make tea soon.
If my next post reads like Alice in Wonderland, I obviously picked the wrong mushroom.
One tree that is a common regrowth forest species in the tropics is the “trumpet tree”, which is any of multiple species of Cecropia tree:
I love these trees. Look at these supporting roots near the bottom:
As my brother-in-law remarked on my Instagram, “it looks like a foot!”
Check out what Cecropia bark looks like close up:
Just a marvelous, beautiful and useful tree. They grow them at ECHO for multiple reasons:
If I still lived in South Florida, I would totally plant one. Or ten.
When I finally get to launch my next food forest I will plan them in.
As I was getting ready for my hike down the hill, one of the children pointed out this beautiful member of the click beetle family hanging out on one of our jackfruit:
I used to have a 1982 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme painted that exact color, in glitter-fleck, with chrome rims.
I got pulled over all the time. I miss that car, though.
Another beautiful creature is this little butterfly:
They are charming and flutter about us as we cut through the tall weeds and grass on our way to the creek.
I admit that I had visions of giant snakes, terrifying insects and marauding monkeys before moving… but thus far we seem to be in a quiet corner of the rainforest. That’s probably good, as I don’t fancy losing any children to fearsome and poisonous creatures… and I would rather keep the fruit for ourselves, not stealthy simians.
If you’d like to see an extended tour, along with my ridiculous rapping, I posted an entertaining rainforest tour video on Friday of last week:
Happy Monday – I’ll be back tomorrow with more pretty pictures. May you have a blessed and productive new week.
Your kids could start a completely kick-ass insect collection there.
They actually have a scorpion in a jar right now and have been feeding it insects.