Our first days in Argentina were a fiesta of animals – the mammals of coastal Patagonia. Now that we are here in Bariloche we need to learn the plants, esp. the ones that make up the incredible Andean forests. This was clear on a short walk we made nearby, at a place called Llao Llao. In the pictures you’ll see some cool stuff. First, the massive beech trees (Nothofagus dombeyi), known as coihue, with the characteristic horizontal foliage display that instantly says “southern hemisphere” (at higher elevations, the deciduous beech, Nothofagus pumilio, known as lenga, can be found). Second, a native bamboo (Chusquea coleou), known as caña coihue, is the brown stuff in the understory. It is now having a massive die-off after a big flowering last year. Hordes of mice and rats are expected this summer in response to the seed supply. Finally, there are the amazing arrayanes (Luma apiculata, a member of the myrtle family). The locals claim (dubiously) that a forest of arrayanes inspired Walt Disney when he created the forest seen in Bambi. Who knows, it’s cool anyway. Full set of pics HERE.
This weekend we plan a trip a bit north, towards Lanin National Park, to see the famous “monkey puzzle tree”, or araucaria.