Notebooks from a trampfest. Travel tips, tales and images, online since 2006.

Palm Trees, San Blas Islands

More specifically, uprooted ones, which expose a fascinating wiry underworld of the trees that most people equate with some sublime ideal of island paradise.

This was part of a gallery composed of several images that don’t quite fit that island-as-paradise narrative, taken four years ago today while beach combing on one of the 370 or so islands that make up the sinking San Blas Islands, a Caribbean archipelago off the coast of Panama that’s expected to all but disappear within the next three decades.

Most of the rest are of conch shells, beautifully chiseled by the waves of the transparent sea that is so clear and warm that you can watch the starfish sweat. There’s also several where flotsam figures prominently — like in most parts of the world, made of plastic– that somehow managed its way to the islands.

But I was most fascinated by the trunks, unrooted trees, the slowly deteriorating roots. And the roots forced by erosion and rising waters to continually regenerate so they stay upright. That was a battle the one above lost.

Many battles are being lost here, especially the one against time. I’m in the process of collecting some information to update my original post about the sinking San Blas Islands, one of the few places on the planet I’d like to revisit. No time to dawdle on that plan.

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For the record: Today’s Pic du Jour, the site’s 1,257th (!) straight, was snapped in the San Blas, or Guna Yala Islands of Panama, on 13 June 2013.

 

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