Sunday, 21 March 2010
7"X5" Acrylic on board
The orange farm is in the "Montanas de Uroyan" outside of Anasco; 300 acres of jungle and 25 acres of oranges. Apart from picking, most of the work seems to involve ensuring that it doesn't revert to 325 acres of jungle.
These are not nice neat flat rectangular fields like the orchards in the Niagara Peninsula. Just patches of 25-50 orange trees wherever the ground is almost flat enough to work. Sometimes they seem to be clinging to the side of a cliff, sometimes they are in a steamy hollow that by 10 am feels like the first realm of Hades. The working day starts at 6 am, just before daylight, and ends at 11 am. It isn't too bad until 9:30, after that things start to slow down.
Not too many palm trees here, but tree ferns, bamboo, mangoes, bananas, and orange trees of course. There are little green parrots living in the big mango tree but I only saw them from a distance. The orange trees are covered in tiny orchids and bromeliads. Part of the pickers job is to tear off the epiphytes.
I don't have a very good reproduction of this picture, too much glare and the colours don't quite seem right. I am also not sure that acrylic is the right medium, too hard to blend. I think either oil or watercolour would have worked better. Never mind, I have lots of pictures from the two mornings I spent at the farm and I expect I will have another go sometime soon.