Very busy and exciting week down in a floresta (the forest) – got a bunch of the equipment sorted out and built, tested out methods in the forest, and set some equipment up to get a few days worth of soil temperature data for use later. Awesome! And I’ll do a lengthier post about the details of all that at some point, hopefully tomorrow.
In the meantime, I wanted to give a sense of how extreme it feels to have large-scale, industrialized ag jutting up against Amazon forest. For a lot of the work I’ll be doing, I hop in a pickup truck and drive 20 or 45 minutes to a forest or cropland site that we’ll be sampling. Along the way, we’re routinely driving along roads with primary Amazon forest on one side and wide open soybean fields on the other side:
These are my friends Paul and Danúbia. We were heading to a northern part of the farm to check out how much harvesting had been done already. (Side note: they are rad!)
Sometimes the contrast is ridiculously striking, like when Paul took the scenic route north so that we could go check out this emergent tree (tree that is taller than the majority of the tropical forest canopy) that happens to have landed right next to the road.
Mato Grosso: formerly the wild frontier, now just a place where two completely different ecological worlds intersect.