Confessions of a Long Term Volunteer

October 2001

My first month in Los Cedros Reserve was an awesome shock to my senses. Finding my way around the web of trails, figuring out which plants were weeds of the green houses, discov ering deli cious jungle fruits, and partic i pating in inter­esting projects while getting to know the people around me filled the first few weeks with adven ture and amazement.

Coming from my native Redwood habitat through the cloud forest was at first over whelm ingly incred ible, and I’ll admit I was a bit nervous. Every plant, tree, flower, bird, insect, smell, and sound was completely new and intriguing. I could easily put myself into a blissful whirl wind while attempting to absorb it all.

Now that I’ve been here for almost three months, I have a much different, better in most ways, under standing of the area. I recog nize birds and insects in the trees easier now that my eyes and ears have adjusted to the leaf patterns and noises. I can iden tify birds by their calls and know which trees not to grab because of their disguised spikes. I’ve followed many streams and hiked several ridges, allowing me to famil iarize myself with the geog raphy of the land and water sheds within. I’ve been able to follow up on many of the projects started when I first arrived as well as seen a world of change in the green houses. This place has begun to feel like home as I got more and more comfort able and aware of my surround ings. I still can’t spot the tree snakes. Maybe next month.

Sable Rose
California
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