Photo-storm Contest Winners!

In June, the Azuero Earth Project launched our PHOTO-storm, a contest of native trees of Azuero and their stories. The winners are……  1st placeManuel Mancilla (with Michael Bauman)Los AsientosCorotú, Enterolobium cyclocarpum    Manuel’s tree has been on the property since his father came to the property over half a century ago. Although most of the original large timber species were long cleared from the property, this Corotu remains as a source of pride and a piece of living history to the family. The tree has 1.5 m (nearly 5 ft) diameter and is certainly over 150 years old!   2nd place*Irving VergaraPedasiRoble, Tabebuia roseaRoble is considered one of the most beautiful and noticeable tropical trees and its wood is precious for construction. Its precious pink flowers can be seen distinctively from a distance, allowing people to comment from a distance……The roble is one of my sources of childhood memories, and helped me decide on my university career. This tree brings me beautiful memories of my childhood. In those days my family had farms near where there are now large mansions on the Los Destiladeros coast. I remember that I used to pass by this very path with my father and my older brother when we went “hunting.” My brother and I would toss rocks and sticks at the birds that rested on the roble’s flowers. As we stood awed by the grandeur of the colorful flowers, our father began to tell us stories about his life as a kid when he lived in this place. At the end of our “hunting” day, despite not having found anything to bring home, I kept the image of that tree in my mind as if it were a photograph, along with my moments of adventure. What would I give to repeat those moments again (of course, this time without the hunting).This year, in the dry season, my cousins, some friends and I decided to go and see the large houses in the region to tour the area and remember how everything had changed since that moment. Coincidentally, we stopped by that very same path where I had once roamed as a child and I stopped to appreciate this beautiful roble that was flowering, and I began to hear the joyful song of some birds that I could not make out in the colorful flowers that shone in the sun, contrasting with the clear blue sky. Once below the shadow of the tree I could make out the precious intense orange and black of the feathers of the birds drinking from the nectar of the tree, and they were dancing around the flowers. They were the typical orioles that tend to visit us in this season. I could see two pairs of orioles dancing between the branches and on the flowers – can you imagine the show that was happening at the moment when these two species combined their vivid colors! Part pink of the roble flowers and part orange and black of the birds, accompanied by their melodic songs, not forgetting that part of the ground below the tree was covered with the flowers scattered by the birds.Who would think that these were the same birds that I attempted to bother in those days, today thanks to this experience I see them in a new way. Undoubtedly, this was one of my best moments that we most shared on our way back home and it is one of my best memories of this season, that surely I will never forget and it is what inspires me further to keep working for the good of the environment…..3rd placeDana DallavalleRincón de Santa María, HerreraFrijolillo, Albizia caribaeaThis is one of the first pictures I took when I arrived at my site one year ago.  I was running almost every day out on the farm roads and loved watching the sun rise behind this tree, it was the reason I got up every morning to run and still is.  I brought my camera with me one day to get a picture of this beautiful tree a few days after I arrived and wanted to share it with you.  It is on the road to La Ciénaga de Las Macanas en El Rincón de Santa María.Thanks to our judges panel:Professor Jacinto Escudero teaches visual arts at the National Institute of Culture in Las Tablas and is a photography lover.Guillermo Duran is the Azuero Earth Project’s GIS administrator; his passion for photography is revealed through his blog Cuenticos.Botanist Jose Deago has worked on flora studies y reforestation projects in protected areas and other forests throughout Panama for many years. He currently lives in Las Tablas with his family.We thank ALL of our contest participants; for more contest entries please see our Photo-storm Contest reveals reasons to treasure trees post.Note: Entries with * roughly translated from original spanish by AEP staff.

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