The Queñoa Tree, with its beautiful red bark, grows higher than any other tree in the world.
We’ve been at post for two months now. A lot has happened during this period, especially regarding our foreign service community, worldwide. We’ve got friends posted everywhere. We’ve got friends working back home. We’ve kept in contact, ensuring that all of us are well, safe, sane… We’re all, somehow, moving on with our lives. It’s our work, our lifestyle, our choice… And we’re proud of the choices we’ve made.
These past two months have been filled with cultural, linguistic, social adjustments for our family. For the five of us. Our oldest son is an active first grader, and thrilled with the discoveries that the ability to read has brought him. We, as parents, are pleased and keep encouraging his success. Our middle daughter has a more intense social life than her parents do, often invited by her kindergarden peers to play dates and birthday gatherings. And our baby girl, who’s approaching her second birthday, is simply enjoying life, chasing birds in the yard, having picnics on the grass with her mama, exercising her constantly learned Spanish skills…
All in all, we’re fine. And as I stated earlier, I’m in love. I’m in love with this new, calm, high-altitude, slow-paced life. I’m in love with the possibility to spend more time with our kids, and to be more involved with their school, offering my help and skills to the American community.
And I’m in love with our yard, our Fall-colored plants (even though it’s Spring here!), the eco-projects I’ve been working on, and, most of all, I’m in love with our tree, the typical Andean Queñua (or Kenua) – the first thing I see in the morning, from our bedroom window. I wrote about it before [excerpt below], and, as a way to bring my mind back to good things, a strategy to temporarily forget about recent unhappy events, I decided to create a memory of this one natural feature, painting it on canvas. We still don’t have our HHE, nor my brushes, paints, but a simple problem that was easily solved. So, in order to honor my ‘newest love’, here it is, the recent creation, with a few other ‘creations of mine’… and I’m proud of all of them! ♥
Cheers to building memories!
Feeling very proud of my ‘creations’, right now…
[From original post about the Queñua Tree]
[Español] La keñua o queñoa de altura (Polylepis tarapacana) es una especie de planta con flor de la familia de las rosáceas (Rosaceae). La especie se distribuye a lo largo de la Coordillera Andina desde Perú hasta Chile, incluyendo Bolivia.
La especie se encuentra en floración entre diciembre-enero y marzo-abril. Fructifica abundantemente, en racimos. Parte de las hojas y de las últimas ramificaciones, cae durante el invierno; cuando el nuevo follaje está completamente desarrollado, se desprenden las hojas restantes.
La especie se distribuye en un rango elevacional entre 3900 hasta 4700 m, algunos individuos aislados pueden llegar hasta 5200 msnm en el Parque Nacional Sajama. Es conocida mundialmente porque en su distribución la especie alcanza más altitud que cualquier otro árbol en el mundo. Queñoales eres una comunidad vegetal en que es dominante la Queñoa (Polylepis spp.), árbol característico del Altiplano. Los troncos, de madera dura, son generalmente retorcidos, y están cubiertos por una corteza exfoliante, formada por múltiples láminas de color castaño rojizo.
[English] Polylepis woodland is a distinctive, high-elevation Andean forest habitat that occurs above cloud level (3,500-5,000 m) as patches of woody vegetation surrounded by paramo (e.g., Festuca species) or puna (e.g., Ichu species) grass and shrub (e.g., Baccharis species) communities. These high-altitude woodlands tend to be relicts of a once-widespread habitat and comprise mainly evergreen trees of the genus Polylepis (Rosaceae) which are highly drought tolerant. The trunk and branches are laminated with brown-reddish bark that peels off in paper-like sheets as a protection against extremely low temperatures, and often have mosses and lichens growing on them.
♥ Learning something new everyday here! :o