Abundant populations of these plants - frailejones - are distributed along this natural world that belongs to a minimal part of the roof of the Central Andes Range. They are a marvelous example of the adaptive capacity of plants, to resist – to mention only one case - the onslaughts of the extreme temperatures that freeze or scorch these towering Colombian latitudes.
Here, there are many ponds like this one. Silently, they continuously add life to the wild and cold headwaters of the Amoyá River. Small streams that run down through the steep slopes, covered with pristine vegetation, almost imperceptibly nurture and maintain these crystalline water mirrors.
The colors of the mountain
During the months when these hills endure rains and downfalls that seem to have infinity as a source, paramos as well as forests draw colorful forms typical of Andean life. A stunning example is the flower of this orchid that we found nearly 3300 meters above sea level.
Plants, mosses and lichens, in need of moisture, assault a frequent visitor of these mountains: fog. Then, little by little, without any rush, excess water drips to the soil, saturating it and favoring the emergence of small streams that run with force taking life to the lower parts of the mountain.
Here, the waters of this brook, called La Cristalina, have already collected water coming from other brooks, other streams and rain. The existence of these currents, all of an invigorating beauty, is possible thanks to the generous vegetation - with its different associated life forms - that covers each corner of the mountain peaks of Tolima.
The national tree
Our national tree also has a space in this wilderness of the upper basin of the Amoyá River. As opposed to what happens in other parts of Colombia, the wax palm does not survive in this region on pastures and intervened zones. On the contrary: its friend and main partner to achieve the propagation of its descendants is the Andean forest and all the living beings that call it their home.