Got to go to Cuba as part of the University of Alabama Cuba Center. As you might imagine it was a very interesting trip. I was there to to check out the potential for doing tree-ring studies on the island. Unfortunately I did not get to make any collections but I did get to visit several natural areas both near Havana, and farther along the northern coast in the state of Matanzas.  As usual when I have traveled I found the people to be very warm. One of my favorite parts of the trip was meeting the geographers who run the environmental conservation office for Matanzas and seeing that area. The vegetation there is fascinating and varies a great deal over a short distance. For example there are mangroves within a stones throw of extremely dry “forests” (including massive cacti; see pic). You can see a lot more of my trip here (