Probably, through earlier posts I gave you the impression that living at the foot of the Andes is a dream. While this is true to a very large extent, it also has climatic and technological shortcomings that need to be accepted to enjoy it.
The climate is dry and cool in winter with most days being sunny and warm in the middle of the day when it is possible to be outside wearing a short-sleeved shirt. At that time some frost does take place at night, responsible for our failures with our tree and plant growing efforts but otherwise life is great at that time. Unfortunately, we visit Salta in summer and autumn!
The summer is hotter and rather humid. The rain in some areas reaches up to 2,500 mm (2.5 metres!) and cloud forests are the predominant kind of vegetation around us. For a cloud forest to be such the clouds must meet the trees and we are in the middle of this get-together as our farm ranges in altitude roughly from 1,300 to 1,900 metres. As these meetings take place rather often, sunshine is not the most common phenomenon around here now!
As a consequence of this heavy precipitation the area gets waterlogged and the water must drain somehow towards the larger water bodies, in our case the Mojotoro River in the gorge below. As gradients are marked, water runs wild and swells up fast. Sometimes this surprises you as it may rain higher up in the hills and you get the water rush but not the rain.
The entrance to our small-holding crosses a small watercourse that in winter is just a small dry ditch. The fun takes place in summer when, once the rains arrive, it again becomes a stream. This adds a touch of beauty to the farm until we have heavy rains! When this happens, the normally peaceful stream “comes out of the bottle” and transforms itself into a torrent that we can only watch while waiting for it to subside. This normally takes a few hours during which our lack of communication is wide-ranging.
This brings me to the technological issues. The high hills surrounding us interfere with the telephone and Internet signals at the best of times. Well, there is a cell phone signal 3 km away on the access road and, of late, a basic Internet signal across the road, at the door of the public primary school. While the lack of communications makes the place a true nirvana to read and write, it has a negative impact on blogging and “Instagramming” productivity that, at this time, tends to be rather infrequent as you have probably noted by now…
On the bright side, a recent study in the farm next door detected the existence of 152 species of butterflies (Hesperioidea y Papilionoidea), 14 spp. of amphibians, 23 spp. of reptiles, 216 spp. of birds and 28 spp. of native mammals.
Believe me, it is worth getting your feet wet to be able to reach our communication “hot spots” when you can watch new creatures daily while reaching them!
 Moschione, F.N. (2014). Relevamiento de Fauna. Finca El Gallinato, La Caldera, Provincia de Salta. Informe Relevamiento 2013-2014, julio de 2014. Proyecto de Conservación de Bosque Nativo. 55p.