Arrived in Miguel Hidalgo, Catemaco, Ver. 

After spending the first few days in Catemaco Salomon and I decide to retreat to a remote countryside town called Miguel Hidalgo. So we hitched a ride on the back of a truck that collects passengers, and for the next hour rode thought the mountainous jungles areas surrounding Laguna de Catemaco. Only 563 people inhabit this area with very few outsiders passing through, so for the next two weeks I'm sure I will be turning some heads.

Sunrise in Catemaco, Mexico. 

Catemaco 6:00 AM. I am awakened by the sound of a flock of birds in the trees surrounding the bus terminal I just slept in for the past five hours. I walk out and stroll over to an angelic view of Laguna de Catemaco, and begin to photograph the world around me come to life as the sun began to rise. The morning sky garnished with the sight of flocking birds and the waters with early rising fishermen. Along side my friend and botanical colleague Salomon, I will be exploring the surrounding area for the next week hoping to come across some interesting plants. 

Heavy rains daily here...

Bananas de Mexico. 

The first banana plant in the "New World" was brought to the island of Hispaniola in the early 1500's by missionaries. Over the past 500 years they have taken hold of the land with varieties of all kinds emerging. I look forward to seeing the banana diversity here in Mexico. 

Banana Passion Fruit

While roaming through a local market, an oblong yellow fruit caught my eye. At first sight I couldn't figure out what it was, the lady selling the fruit said "maracuya" this is a passiflora? It turns out to be Passiflora mollissima, an odd shaped passionfruit species. The lady explained that the plant is growing at her home about two hours from our location. A Native of central Brazil, but can be found thought the world. The flavor of the fruit was very sweet and tangy, the seeds were hard and crunchy. Seems like a fruit that would be great for juice making. 

The man walking in the rain.

Around 6:00 PM on Dia de la independencia De Mexico. It rains a lot in the part of mexico, but seemed to be falling much harder than it has been. So I decided to walk out with my camera and take some photos in the rain. As I walked around the town of Santa Ana, I came across an elderly man walking in the rain. Found the sight captivating, so I photographed him as he walk towards me, had an exchange of greetings as he walked past me.

Graceful. 

Late Night Thoughts.

I have been MIA for a while due to a broken laptop charger, but that has been resolved and I can now return with blog updates! Images in the post were taken late night/early morning of September 19, 2017  in Orizaba, Mexico.

I arrive to my quarters for that night with a wave of inspiration, and a bag of herb. On the floor is a map of Armenia, and a book on Flora of Baja California. In the flora of Baja book was a pressed cucurbit leaf I had pressed two months prior in Baja Cali, Mexico, a beautiful dried leaf which was nice to hold. Thoughts of revisiting Armenia and Baja in mind, as well strategizing how to implement and pursue future projects. I have experienced a lot of culture over the past few weeks, and look forward to sharing some amazing stories with you! Ice broken...

Need to shoot more self portraits. 

African Banana in Orizaba

One of my favorite family of Plants is Musaceae (Banana Family), for the past few years I have been even working on a project on bananas, but I will get into that another time. During my decent from the high mountain of Peco de Orizaba I spotted a massive banana like plant. Filled with excitement I hopped out of the truck and climbed the hill side to get a closer look. This particular plant happened to be part of one of the two genera in the banana family, Ensete. The scientific name of this plant is called Ensete ventricosum, which is happens to be native to Africa! an economically important food crop in Ethiopia. Althought it wasn't a sought after banana in my book it was still amazing to be in the presence f such a large plant. 

Meeting Sr. Miguel Angel Telpole

After visiting a few potential grow spaces, we pull up to a long remote road surrounded by cane fields. At the end of this road we are stopped by a gate and have to continue on foot. We approach another gate where we greeted by four, what seemed to be aggressive dogs. I was tense and on guard, but the barks were followed by a loud call! "Hola, Como Estas!" That is when I met Sr Miguel Angel Telpole. A very articulate man who seem to be indulged in the world of shamanism. I entered his home and was amazed by his stories & spiritual relics he decorated his home with. I look forward to going back and spending time and photographing Sr. Miguel Angel. 

Macro Love.

During this trip throughout Mexico I have had the opportunity and pleasure of photographing some amazing botanical specimens. I have not shared much of my Botanical Photography with the public but will begin to do so, as well as begin to put together a series, which will (hopefully) make it to the galleries someday. Some Floral macro photography of some edibles plants. 

Visit to Peco De Orizaba

After the first few days in Mexico my colleague and I split separate ways, he made his way to Alaska for some Arctic research while I stayed in Mexico. About about a week has passed as I continued to become acquainted with the land, new friends, and colleagues. One early morning we wake up before sunrise to visit the top of Peco De Orizaba (18,491 ft), to have a look at some of the indigenous crops being cultivated and hopefully make some connections. But during my time there I was captivated my the beauty of the landscape and people. I hope to do a series of photos of the peoples of Peco De Orizaba. 

 

Botanical investigations. 

After a five hour drive from Mexico City to Orizaba, I link up with my colleague and botanical mentor Joe Simcox. We don't waste much time and begin to look for interesting botanical condiments. For the next few weeks/months I will be finding and documenting lost food plants of indigenous Mesoamerica, and hopefully help reintroduce these lost natives foods. 

Mexico Bound.

Augusto 22, 2017, I land in Ciudad De Mexico (Mexico City). I get though immigration and enter the airport, where a Mexico city taxi driver named Renee was there to greet me on my arrival. We both carry the same last name so our meeting started off with something in common. We then hopped in his taxi for a 5 hour drive to the city of Orizaba. A new Journey begins.