Because the last post was heavy in emotional content, this one provides a balance.

Really good news arrived this week from Ecuador where a Nature’s Rights case in Los Cedros Reserve was won in favor of NATURE!   Hoorah for this huge step – and yay for the integrity of the court system!

Also reported on Dec 1: Ecuador’s Constitutional Court enforced Rights of Nature to Safeguard Los Cedros Protected Forest via

Regarding the last post, Balsa is like a Weed, I continue processing this odd dilemma.  I’ve been thinking about all of those pastures that many landowners own, and if they planted balsas on pastures and left intact forest alone, it would be a win-win option, as long as they continued planting to allow for future harvests.  This could turn into a jackpot of a prize if landowners practiced poetic plantings and incorporated other long-lived species that are important for a healthy habitat.

So how could one artist find a way to ‘infect’ landowners with this concept?  I chuckle – probably show up with a truckload of trees and a shovel, ask permission to plant and start working!    Hmmm.

Excuse me, gentlemen, but our planet needs more shade. May I plant some trees on your property?

The pasture illustrates a wound in nature’s skin; could it be healed? Of course it can!

To offset carbon footprints, people might donate funds to organizations that sponsor those landowners.  One that I hope to join is One Tree Planted, and I continue my search for my first tree-planting project.

Another group that continues to work in quiet and impressive ways is the Third Millennium Alliance just north of Jama Ecuador.   They are now mentoring the nearby landowners through a five-year Regenerative Reforestation program that pays them for replanting degenerated land.     They tell their story better than I, so start here:  Third Millennium Alliance.

My friend Stephen Hopkins added a lovely sensitive comment to the last post – food for thought about the balsa/wind energy.  Thank you, Stephen.

Hello Lisa: Yes, balsa is one of the components of the wind turbine blades. As we move from carbon-based fuels to renewables there will be some bumps in the road. And the present overharvesting of balsa timber may be one of those drawbacks. Almost 70% of Ecuador’s petroleum is shipped to … California. I fill my hybrid car’s tank in California with Ecuadorian petroleum pumped from the Amazon. I would prefer to be using wind energy and supporting the Ecuadorian economy by purchasing renewable and recyclable balsa. In this case I believe that the benefits may outweigh the side effects. No solution is perfect, and the best may come too late. “

Thank you, Stephen, for this wise feedback.   Stephen isn’t just observing from afar; he spends lots of time exploring the Neotropics, and visited Casa Loca in Jama, observed the beach loss sites at El Matal, and has even toured the area of Poza Honda.

He deducted that Poza Honda had an abundance of special bird species because they were going to the remaining pockets of green – and that eventually even those species would be crowded out by invasive ones like the Scrub Blackbird.

Scarlet-rumped Cacique

It’s not a blackbird, but the Scarlet-rumped Cacique is a lovely species with pale blue eyes and a flaming-red rump.  The illustration is a people’s favorite in the show, thanks to the Artivive special effects.  The pencil drawing transforms into a short video of that same bird building its nest.  The companion drawing/video shows the bird slamming a caterpillar against a branch then slowly extracting the inedible parts and eating what’s left.

Yacqueline, directora of Museo Portoviejo with Eduardo, a tourism student helping with museum tasks.

Young Guadalupe stares with disbelief as the drawing of the barbet transforms into a video.

It’s always a joy when visitors sign the guestbook.

Sometimes a visitor tells me about a certain bird, and sometimes I deduct which one they’re describing.  While viewing a night-image of the Common Potoo, one person described a bird that blended perfectly with the tree.  We pulled up online images, and he nodded, yes – he sees that bird often near his home.

Many people find their way to the show, and this past week a well-scrubbed young man listened to my apology about the lack of a video for a specific painting.  I imagined “Ceibo Loco” transforming into a jolly hombre of a human, smiling and alegre and doing a short dance.    There had been no opportunity to get a video.

Santiago smiled and replied, “I’ll be glad to do a dance for you.

Surprised, I asked, “Do you like to dance?”

“No!” he replied, “but to be able to help with this show would be an honor.”

On your smart phone, download the (free) app for Artivive.  When it has downloaded, aim your phone at the image below.  If you see a small white circle/ring going around and around, it means that the phone is processing the image – be patient…

Ceibo Loco — Copyright Lisa Brunetti

How can one have a bad day when learning that someone who doesn’t like to dance – did this selfless act of kindness in my behalf?!  Thank you, Santiago!

A finale – if the Artivive works, try this one next: (Gartered Trogon) Stay well, everyone!