Around Diamantina: – Mendanha to Inhai
Memories of today’s Diary pages – or for most of them – are a little bit hazy so I am relying on Marlon’s notes – in Portuguese and Google Translate. Marlon took a month off from his regular business of providing garden plants and services to local customers. He was taking numerous mobile phone messages from client’s chasing orders, so he needs to catch up.
We’re based in Diamantina for few days, ideally situated in the middle of Uebelmannia country, specifically for members of the U. pectinifera complex I was first here in 1999, with the late Keith Grantham, Brian Bates to meet up with Rudolf Schulz and join Rudolf and Marlon in explorations for their 2000 book ‘Uebelmannia and their Environment’, our first Uebelmanniathon.
Today’s program similar to the one for Monday, 16 November 2009 when I traveled with Cliff Thompson from Waterlooville. That time, Marlon was unable to join us for the Minas Gerais stretch of our trip, so that we relied on Google Translate for our communications in Portuguese. Today’s stop list records eight stops where we saw and photographed the following taxa: Cipocereus minensis
Uebelmannia pectinifera and its subspecies flavispina
This time our first stop was said to be the type locality for U. pectinifera. It had rained overnight. The rocks were covered in a cyanobacterium that gave the rocks a black appearance. This cover was in turn covered in Algae and Lichen making the surface rather slippery. Also, many of them were loose and so, within minutes I made my first tumble grazing my head, unprotected following Angie’s dramatically short haircut, both arms and a cut over by kneecap. The bleeding was not too bad, although it did seem to attract a large number of mosquitoes. But worst of all, the tumble seemed to have damaged my self confidence, so that although I had already started the day as the slowest thing on two legs, I was now being overtaken by snails. Hummingbirds flew by my face, but I was too slow to get their picture.
Uebelmannias grow on rocky outcrops, so I blame the lack of pictures of these plants on the slippery nature of the rocks that they grow on.