domingo, 12 de setembro de 2010

São Jorge (I)

Right after the Faial expedition, and just after the weekend, off we were to São Jorge. The crew's itinerary was similar, with the difference that Kostas decided to take the plane, due to the traumatic experience of the last boat trip to Faial. This time we went on the Express Santorini (the ferry boat), which was slower, and the sea was smoother, so the trip was nice and not so long. In the photo: Cabras' Islets, south of Terceira.
We stayed in Casa do António hotel, in Velas. It was a very cosy place, as the place was more like a family home than an hotel. Here we could try to grab some araçás, a fruit from an introduced plant. It tastes a bit like a loquat (pt: nêspera). One very nice thing was the free cakes we could grab, when we got back to the hotel after a day full of fieldwork, especially the typical biscuits from São Jorge, "espécies" (see here), very nice! The field lab was located in a house that belongs to the Environmental Services (so I remember but not sure...).The first site we did was the Topo reserve, with 2 transects. After walking along some Cryptomeria plantations and pastures we arrived. It reminded me of Morro Alto in Flores or Graminhais in São Miguel, as the trees were very short. It was a very nice day here, as the sun was only intermittent with some foggy periods, especially in the morning. It was relatively easy to walk around here also, compared to other sites. The vegetation was the usual one, with the extra of some specimens of Euphorbia stygiana in one of the transects. Here I tasted the fruits of Vaccinium for the first time. Although a bit acid, they are quite good and juicy! Some extra food, organic and endemic!
The next day it was raining and we spent the day - or days, I don't recall - sorting in the field lab, like in Faial. The last site to be done would be the Pico do Pinheiro, with 2 transects on Erica dominated forest. We started off the days pretty well, with a shining sun above us. However, when we were finishing the last transect, one of the most huge rainfalls came down on us. We were only about 5 or 6 pitfalls from the end, so we decided to take it on. We were below tree cover, but still, there was no escape, as it was thick rain. Everybody was wet from head to toes. Sadly, there are no photos of this, but it was too stressfull for kodak moments here... Ironically, these were the last traps to be set in all the BALA II fieldwork, and this was the worst rainfall ever.
Later in the week, Isabel Amorim joined us to give an oral presentation to the locals on cave species of the Azores, but the whole staff but Paulo (who also had a presentation to give) returned to Terceira before that, as we finished the fieldwork in a good time. This was not a consensual decision but no big deal for me.

Sem comentários:

Enviar um comentário