Please allow me some nostalgic feelings today. If I show you the pictures I was browsing through, you’ll immediately realize why:
It is nostalgia for that fabulous day on the steep mountain road heading out of el Manzano up to the slopes of the dry Argentinian Andes, and it was fieldwork with such stunning views that they will forever remain in my memories.
It was our one but last fieldwork day in South America, beginning of February, and we were determined to get the most out of it. In the morning, it was up, up, up to the top of the road, thanks to the skilled mountain road driving of Agustina, one of our amazing hosts in Mendoza.
The road took us to the rocky world at close to 4000 meters above sea level. Only a bit higher, the road eventually stopped dead, limiting travel over the pass to the Chilean border to sure-fooded horses only.
This rocky high-elevation environment not only brought stunning views, yet also some of the most intriguing plant species I have ever seen. Oh, alpine vegetation is stunning everywhere, but the high Andes in Mendoza has some wonders that you would have to see for yourself to share my excitement.
One could never get enough of this stunning environment, I promise you. We worked our way down along the road back to the valley, studying the impact of the road on the alpine vegetation all along the way.
Another of the roads from our global MIREN-network that I could now add to the list of study areas I visited. Another unique environment so different from the other mountain roads I have seen all over the world. Yet interestingly, many of the road effects are comparable in all of them, a fact that hits home a lot harder when you see all these unique places in real life.
When evening came, after a long day of sampling, the light deepened and the shadows of the mountains lenghtened. Another beautiful summer evening arrived, and wildlife slowly emerged.
Better times to remember on this ‘Throwback Thursday’ might be hard to find. And all of that thanks to the fantastic scientists from the MIREN Mendoza-team, without whom nothing like this would have been possible!