BAHIA de CARAQUEZ, Ecuador
The verdant countryside landscape became a green blur when our pick-up truck hit speeds near 100 mph.
Massive Ceiba trees dotting the horizon were the lone exception. As we hitched a ride from Puerto Lopez back to Bahia with Ramon´s friend, Roberto, Ceibas towered over the rest of the flora.
In the bed of the Chevrolet, Sam, Paress and I proudly identifed this tree on our route because its one of the species we planted at Planet Drum. Here are My 5:
The seedlings form small spikes around its base to protect it from animals. As it grows, so do the spikes. During its adolescent years — before, say, 100 — the spikes resemble large Hershey Kisses.
It swells as it ages. More than 20 people linking arms would be necessary to encircle a mature Ceiba.
We heard mature Ceibos, some 50, 60, 70 feet high, have root systems just as deep. This is benefitical to stave off troublesome erosion around Bahia and the Rio Chone estuary.