Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Bacaba palms

Per my previous post, my neighbor to the north asked permission to plant select trees and palms on the demarcation lines between our lands. He built a service road next to the plantings, on his own land. Next to the dirt road is an immense field of soybeans that goes all the way back to the highway, nearly 3 kilometers away. This service road was getting to be very popular with drivers because the main road has been virtually closed because of that huge mud hole I have talked about on more than one occasion, the one I call Lake Maria. A few weeks ago, Maia, my neighbor, closed off this service road because it was getting to be a muddy mess with the extra traffic and there were some lovely figures, who were making new routes through the soybean fields. Motorcycle owners saw fit to break down part of the barrier to continue their detour to the highway. This continues to this day and my own gates to one piece of our forest have been broken down for the same purpose. I walked this "trail" yesterday. It's used by ox and cart, motorcycles and even pickup trucks. The track is so muddy, it was difficult walking the approximately one kilometer. I didn't want to repeat the ordeal, so I walked out on Maia's service road. In the image you can see bacaba palms (Oenocarpus distichus), one that produces a fruit much like açaí. The juice made from the pulp of the fruit contains more oils than açaí, but it's one of the favorite palms in this region.

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