Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Amazon Day 3

It's funny how things in the dark appear different than things in the light. The night before I trugged around in the rainforest, half seeing and half feeling my way. My senses for sight, sound and smell were all heightened. Sensing my way through the rainforest I would pick up on any reflection of light, any snapping of a twig and any pungent smell.

In the light of day, I could certainly see things more clearly, but my other senses seemed to be dull to my surroundings. It was easier to move around, but it was less of a sensory experience. I still saw some very interesting things on a morning excursion into the forest.

Like these leaf cutter ants.
Jorge showed me a few cool things... like how to select a vine from which one can drink water.
This one is good.
So I gave it a try.

There is another vine which is called curare. It is used to make an anesthesia to dull pain and to make poison darts. You don't want to drink from the curare vine, because it can kill you. Choose your vine carefully.

This is the Amazon... everywhere there are plants and animals that can help you or kill you. A lesson that I would observe over and over.

We walked on and saw turkey vultures
Sap from a rubber tree which can be used as rubber, glue or eaten. It actually tastes like marshmallow.

This vine.
A red headed pileated woodpecker.
I wanted to see what he was pecking at. It turns out that he making a nice little square. Who would have thought?
This is the trunk of a palm tree. I think that it is warning you to stay away.
A caterpillar which I believe will turn into a monarch butterfly.
This is an Amazonian walking tree. New roots grow toward the sun and nutrients. Old roots die off. Over time the tree can actually move about a foot.
Jorge got me to eat these ants and their eggs that live in a swollen branch.
The ants don't bite, but they do taste like lemon.
If you are ever in the rainforest and want to leave someone a note...
Just grab one of these leafs...
And start etching...
And that's how you make a note in the rainforest.
There are big plants and small plants
I was simply amazed at the beauty of some of these mushrooms...
And the variety of colors...
And the intricacies.
These green parrots were eating minerals from the ground which help them to digest some of the berries they find in the rainforest.
Back near the compound, Clever found this fer de lance snake.
The fer de lance is one of the most venomous and deadly snakes in the world. When the local people find them, they kill them. Herpetologists may not agree with the practice, but I knew that I'd sleep better at night knowing that this snake was not moving about the compound.
After the snake was killed with a machete, the head was burned to ensure that the fangs and venom would not be accidentally stepped on. Serious stuff.
In the afternoon, we set out paddling in the dugout canoes to look for an anaconda. We didn't find one.
Instead I went for a swim (bath) in the middle of the river. Supposedly it was safe from snakes and cayman and other creatures.

After getting out of the water and back into the boat, Jorge told me that one must respect the Amazon and not urinate in its waters...there are candiru fish. Candiru fish are tiny slender fish that are supposedly attracted to urine. When they detect urine they swim to the source. They then lodge themselves into the source with their spiny fins. Sounds painful. I wish that Jorge would have explained this to me before I went swimming and... Ooops. Is it fact or fiction, I'd rather not find out.
We ended the day with another sunset. Although this one was hard to enjoy with the thoughts of the candiru fish still in the back on my mind.

We did not have an excursion planned for after dinner.
But, I was still able to see a little wildlife. I found these two bats hanging out in my shower stall. Hey, it's the Amazon, one must learn to live in peace with nature.

1 comment:

  1. All amazing! Gotta visit there! Thanks for the pictures, videos, and descriptions.


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