Wet Dwarf Forest

Today’s photo is not from today but from one of our hikes near Caleta Olla, the guanaco was checking us out from the ridge above. Well as we move west in this part of the world we expect it to get wetter and yesterday was certainly wet! We caught up on bread baking, more diddle dee jam was brewed and we constructed veggie burgers for dinner and read quite a lot. Today was also wet and windy but with less of both so we headed up to the peak behind the anchorage, it is only about 680 metres high but in this part of the world that qualifies it for a glacier topping. We climbed/scrambled and waded through ponds up the south ridge and descended the north ridge completing a circuit back to the boat. There are no native land mammals on this island that I know of but the beavers have invaded. We saw a few birds, the Rayaditos, Dark Faced Ground Tyrants, Turkey vultures, and that was about it. I guess because of the rain the webs over the entrance of what Steve and I call the Johnny spiders were showing up well. The Johnny spiders live in a funnel shaped hole in the ground but they build a greenhouse over the entrance with a very fine web. The web looks very much like a discarded condom, slightly inflated, sticking out of the ground. The Johnny spider can sometimes be spotted sunbathing in the end of his Johnny nursing a white thing that I assume is an egg pod. – If anybody knows the real name for the Johnny spider or what it’s doing in its Johnny please drop us an email. Due to GMail enhancing their security I can’t see comments at the moment so please send any emails to “2FRV4 at sailmail dot com” Outside of very sheltered spots the forest here is about waist high. It is the same northofagus, mostly Northofagus Betuloides here, as in the rest of Tierra del Fuego but stunted by the climate. You can see that some of these bonsai trees are very old as their gnarled and twisted trunks are sometimes half a metre, or more, in diameter. The Sun came out just as we arrived back aboard ‘Morgane’ and we have the heater going so there are drying lines inside and out at the moment. Smelly socks outside please!

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