52 Weeks of Life Seen Through My Eyes

Ida's Photo Theme Challenge

12. Fences And/Or Rails


Living in a more rural part of Panama gives me the opportunity to see how the locals utilize the resources they have available to them, to be as economical as possible, and to add a touch of beauty to the already beautiful landscapes. Many farmers in the area use branches cut from trees that they thrust into the ground and intertwine with barbed wire to fence in their crops or their cattle as well as using rocks that erupted from the volcano over thousands of years and now dot the countryside in abundance.

I am always amazed that the branches the farmers plant in the ground often begin to leaf shortly after they have been “planted”. These branches grow into trees that form a beautiful living fence. When they begin to grow much taller and fuller, the whole process is begun again. The trees are cut down to about 5 feet and the branches stripped and used for new fences or repairs, only to begin growing once more.

The rock walls seen in the areas around the volcano are carefully and painstakingly built without the use of mortar or concrete…simply rocks stacked together like a Tetris puzzle. Unfortunately these rock walls are getting more and more expensive to erect as it truly is an art and the builders are demanding a higher price for their expertise.

Before the cutting begins

Branches stripped, stacked, and ready to go

Growing back less than a month later


A rock wall that’s been standing for many years


9 thoughts on “12. Fences And/Or Rails

  1. I have never heard of this type of fencing. Amazing and interesting to see the new growth, I’m sure.


  2. What an interesting story! Great photos. The rock wall reminds me of the English countryside.


  3. That’s so interesting – and how much nicer to look at than just fencing!


  4. Very interesting Ida. This is sustainable practice at its best and each new tree sequesters more carbon from the atmosphere as it grows. Impressive. The use of rocks without cement also minimises the carbon footprint of these farmers.


  5. What an interesting post, Ida. And lovely pictures too, as always!


  6. Great job Ida, you explained it perfectly. I always loved both types of fencing when I was there. I had forgotten about how they cut the branches and started a new tree from the clipping. You really can stick a cutting of about any plant in the ground and have it take root in Panama! 🙂


  7. Wow, very interesting lesson and super pictures. Thanks Ida.


  8. What an interesting way to start a fence. I hope the new growth was the intent and not a hindrance. I loved the rock wall photo, as well.


  9. What a very resourceful was to build a fence. I am sure that in order to have fencing that the people had to come up economic ways to build them.


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