Hello to a New Adventure!

“It’s time to say goodbye but I think goodbyes are sad and I’d rather say hello. Hello to a new adventure!”(after Ernie Harwell)

Hello to Botanically Inclined on the Seed Adventures!

I have set a new Base Camp at BotanyCa!

Click to enter!

A little piece of my blog remains here as a bridge with my wordpress com friends.

If you stumbled upon this blog looking for the Epimediums, you are invited to browse galleries with lots of images and read more about them at -Lost Horizons Nursery Blog.

 

 

The last push…

towards the Machu Picchu and I hope until the spring arrives (at least on the calendar)

Trekking on the Inca trail to Machu Picchu – part III

After reaching the highest point at the Dead’s Women pass, what follows is really an up and down ‘climb’ of three more mountain passes and a few Inca ruins with similar sounding names: Runcurakay, Sayaqmarka and Phuyupatamarca.  The trail itself varies from wide and promenade-like to steep, cut-in-stone stairs. When in the cloud forest, there is the unforgettable imagery of trees dripping with lichens, moss, orchids and bromeliads. At some point, we even passed a sphagnum and peat bog area resembling a coral reef habitat at the bottom of the ocean, but with orchids. Then there were tree ferns and some odd looking Araceae, and then more orchids…and some more.

A gallery from Machu Picchu and a few more images can be seen at my other base camp – just click on the next image to enter.

Entering Machu Picchu

Entering Machu Picchu

 Note: Thanks to Jetpack who integrates now wordpress.com with wordpress.org users, everyone subscribed here should start receiving my next posts from botanicallyinclined.org (also subscribing and unsubscribing will work the same)


Polylepis forest featured

The Forgotten Forest – Polylepis

A recount of our trekking trip on the Inca trail to Machu Picchu – part II

I got lost in translation and in seeding, and I don’t have a follow up form on my new website yet – so I’ll post both ways for now. You can read part Ihere, we were just starting on the second day to eventually reach the highest point on the Inca Trail: Warmiwañusca Pass (in translation Dead Woman’s Pass) at 4265 m.

But before getting there we passed through what’s called a ‘submontane, subtropical humid forest’ or strait said cloud forest. At some point, the trail was followed, sometimes on both sides, by small, contorted trees with a specific, flaked, cinnamon bark. You could feel it is something special and slow down a bit – it was like walking through an enchanted forest, from a fairy tale and hope it never ends!

Through a Polylepis tunnel - on the Inca trail

Through a Polylepis tunnel – on the Inca trail

The genus Polylepis has 27 species of trees and shrubs with an Andean distribution (with 19 species in Peru) and belongs to the rose family (Fam. Rosaceae). All tree species in the genus Polylepis (Quenoa) are confined to the high tropical South American Andes Mountains, where they grow best at elevations between 3500 to 5000 meters! That’s why Polylepis is considered the highest naturally occurring arborescent angiosperm genus in the world!

Their contorted, twisted growth is due to the harsh environment they are growing in. Also the layered bark with lots of thin, A Polylepis close to Warmiwanusca Passreddish, exfoliating sheets and the congested disposition of the leaves on the branches are adaptations to the specific high altitude climate of the Andes. Still under the Polylepis spell, you’ll feel that the climb becomes more arduous. But the scenery is ‘magnifique’ and there are lots of other plants you probably never saw. Some guides will be able to tell you a few of them, if not the proper identification can wait for later.

Such was the case of Brachyotum – a genus of shrubs endemic throughout the high elevations of tropical Andes. The one in the image, probably B. quinquenerve, has the most vivid deep violet flower colour. Who wouldn’t want it in the garden?

Toward the highest point of the Inca trail: Warmiwañusca Pass, which is situated at 4265 m, we entered the vegetation zone called the ‘Puna’. It is mostly grassland with various species like Stipa, Festuca and Miscanthus (of which about 48 species! are reported above 3000 m). It is very windy and cold, and there is a foggy, mysterious aspect of the nearby mountain slopes.

But when on the mountain, what comes up has to go down, so quite a steep descent follows next toward Pacasmayo valley. In some areas the trail becomes very wide, at times looking just like a weathered garden stone path; a very strange feeling knowing you are at 4000 m altitude in the Andes – walking through the Inca gardens in the mountains!

Incas Garden in the Andes

Incas Garden in the Andes

To be continued…

Twitching and switching

Finally, with some delay, after twitching and switching I am happy to announce that Botanically Inclined has a new base camp. Unfortunately, a free-hosted blog doesn’t suit my future endeavours, but change is good and keeps one motivated.  I am still twitching and not completely ready to shed my old skin, so for a while, until I keep transferring, updating posts and get acclimated, I will switch between my two base camps – often when one needs to climb further, the return to the previous base camp is necessary in order to get adjusted with the altitude :)

I cannot thank enough everyone for reading and finding some inspiration in what I call my ‘scriblings’. Sharing together with you the passion for all things green is what kept me motivated and made it all worth. Your feedback is always much appreciated and please be patient – I am still using the wordpress platform but it’s a new experience and I am not that knowledgeable in computers as I am in plants.

To celebrate the announcement and sweeten the transition I took a break – after all it’s Sunday and we won the hockey gold medals at the Olympics!!! With this new, stimulated energy I started to recount our trekk on the Inca trail from a few years ago:

Flowers of the Incas

Bomarea sanguinea

Bomarea sanguinea

Let’s make a big jump and land in Cusco via Lima. One needs to spend a few days here for altitude acclimation. Needless to say you have to book your trip in advance, and this can be done very well on-line nowadays. There is plenty to do in Cusco, after all you are in the ancient Incan Royal City: bask in the sun in Plaza de Armas, visit the museums, the shops, take pictures or just wander around and see what plant species are growing in the area read more HERE at my new base camp (I’m there – lots of twitching to do).