Friday, October 26, 2007
The Forest is a mysterious and majestic place.
On Sunday, Camillo and I drove from Friburgo down to Cachoeira de Macacu to take pictures of the (springtime) flowering trees and because he had something he needed to show me. Just north of Cachoeira in the state of Rio de Janeiro's Parque Tres Picos, there is a tree - not just any tree, but a fine, very fine example of the Jequitiba-rosa tree.
After a very bone jarring ride up a dirt road, you can park in a grass covered 'parking lot' and take a short walk through old forest, to see this tree. Everyone, especially those with children, should visit this tree at least once and if possible once a year, just like going home to Grandma. It will inspire instant love and respect for the forest. 40 meters (120+ ft.) tall, 19 meters (62.3 ft.) around and estimated to be 1000 years old, it brought tears to my eyes and a feeling of joy to my heart.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Spring is here, I know it is because there are 'spring sale' signs in the windows of the shops in Rio. Just like everywhere else in the world (Well, in the northern hemisphere the signs say 'fall sale' but the concept is the same), when all else fails to give us a sign, the new clothing lines are a sure indicator for a change of seasons. Now that spring is here, I am waiting for the spring showers to bring the May flowers. Only here it is spring showers bring November flowers. Now that spring is here I am waiting for the smell of warm air mingled with freshly mowed grass. Of course, I wait in vain, there is no smell of freshly mowed grass here. But I can dream can't I?
In one of our pines, just off the patio, there is a "soon to be mama" bird, waiting. And the "soon to be daddy" bird, waiting. And I am waiting for it to feel like spring.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
Camillo coined the phrase "third world operation with first world objectives" and I love it for describing the recycling system in Rio. I don't know if other areas of Rio have this same process, but I know that this is the way recycling works in Ipanema and Leblon. These men with carts go into the commercial areas and pick up cardboard boxes, old or left over construction material, old refrigerators, defunct computers - nothing is too large or too small. for their wooden carts. When full, they pull the carts through traffic, down along the canal to the Lagoa. They wait in lines to offload onto a truck owned by a cooperative. The goodies from the cart is measured by weight or volume and they are paid on average of R$40.00 per load. (WE stopped and ask how it works) Then they turn around and go for more, they can often collect 2 or 3 loads per day. This is hard, hot, backbreaking work - but they own the cooperative. They don't beg or steal and they provide a much needed commercial and environment service.