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Pork-knockers in the backdam

The Last Epiphyte Standing:
After all is said and done, after the last pork-knocker has drifted onto the next elusive frontier, you'll find the last 'man' standing, literally on 'his' last legs. This formerly dense rainforest has died from the top down. Only weeks before this image was taken, hundreds of thousands of tonnes of finely sorted tailings from a nearby hydraulic mining pit, oozed completely unchecked out onto the floor of the adjacent virgin jungle. With the humus layer's life-giving aerobic processes cut off, the shallow roots' ability to provide nutrients upward to the canopy ceased. And with supply lines cut the foliage soon withered and died. With their photosynthesizing ability now dead, the energy supply line back to the roots died with it, and so in turn the roots. The result: the standing dead. All except the epiphytes, which, being independent of the tree's vascular system, remain alive a little longer. But what prize for the last plant standing? Soon, through exposure to the harsher elements this poor fellow will too succumb. Beyond the clearing of jungle to build the roads, gain access and expose the deep alluvial gravels, the pork-knocker's impacts continue longer in both time and space. Impacts that by their very nature are mercurial to the core.
[T. Powers' Claim, Imbaimadai, Upper Mazaruni, Guyana]

GUYANA | Monday, 8 July 2013 | Views [393] | View Larger Image

The Last Epiphyte Standing: After all is said and done, after the last pork-knocker has drifted onto the next elusive frontier, you'll find the last 'man' standing, literally on 'his' last legs. This formerly dense rainforest has died from the top down. Only weeks before this image was taken, hundreds of thousands of tonnes of finely sorted tailings from a nearby hydraulic mining pit, oozed completely unchecked out onto the floor of the adjacent virgin jungle. With the humus layer's life-giving aerobic processes cut off, the shallow roots' ability to provide nutrients upward to the canopy ceased. And with supply lines cut the foliage soon withered and died. With their photosynthesizing ability now dead, the energy supply line back to the roots died with it, and so in turn the roots. The result: the standing dead. All except the epiphytes, which, being independent of the tree's vascular system, remain alive a little longer. But what prize for the last plant standing? Soon, through exposure to the harsher elements this poor fellow will too succumb. Beyond the clearing of jungle to build the roads, gain access and expose the deep alluvial gravels, the pork-knocker's impacts continue longer in both time and space. Impacts that by their very nature are mercurial to the core. [T. Powers' Claim, Imbaimadai, Upper Mazaruni, Guyana]

Tags: guyana environmental destruction gold mining

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