Sunday, April 15, 2012

At Dawn and Dusk

Today was more mellow than yesterday and we undertook fewer activities.  During the hot Amazon day, we went out twice, once in the morning and once in the evening.  As most of you know, sunrise and dusk are the two best times to take photos and to see animals.  As a wildlife photographer, this was perfect for me!  Our morning activity was looking for birds up in a very interesting birding tower.  At dusk, we set out in the canoe to explore the lagoon and some narrow creeks flowing from the lake.

At 6:00 in the morning, we set off in the canoe to go birding.  After about fifteen minutes of paddling up stream, we came to a small muddy trail leading up the shore.  This we followed for another fifteen minutes and came to a great sight: a giant kapok tree.  The kapok is by far the tallest tree in the jungle and rises high above the canopy.  Just to the left of this tree was a tall, skinny, and winding staircase leading up past the morning mist to the high canopy above.  Very vaguely, at the top of the tree, we could all see a faint platform.  “Up we go,” said Lena. “If you want to be a good birder, you have to go where the birds go!”


“Gulp!”  After going up 205 steps (I counted), and emerging into the mist, we walked over a small metal bridge connecting the staircase to the platform.  We were thirtysix meters off the ground, and were above the canopy layer of the Amazon jungle.  Again, we saw some extremely cool birds: several toucans, colourful macaws and parakeets, and many other complicated and interesting birds.  We saw all these through the telescope and if I were lucky I could see a speck in the distance with my naked eye.  Once Lena pointed out to me a sloth through a telescope.  I loved seeing my favorite animal in the wild nuzzled up in a palm tree.  I was too short to take a picture through the scope, so the photo of the sloth was taken by Lena.  After some more bird watching, it was time to head down and say goodbye to the canopy.

Photo by Lena

At dusk we went out in the canoe to explore the area around lodge.  The original plan was to paddle down the Anangu, but we saw so many animals we never actually got that far!  From the dock, in front of the lodge, we saw the legendary Giant Otter.  There are said to be only 2500 of these amazing creatures left on earth, and today we saw four of them.  We saw some sick nocturnal frogs and a really rare type of heron, the Zig Zag heron.  On the way back in the dark, we spotted some more caymans.  In the blackness, all of us loved seeing their red, glowing eyes!  The photo below is of a baby cayman staring between a couple branches in the swamp.  Soon the day was over and a good dinner awaited us back at the lodge.

I loved the day, and was obsessed with the caymans and the sloth.  I love being in the Amazon and seeing so much life.  I also really enjoyed spending all the time we did up in the kapok.  What wildlife!

RoGeo news:
The Rays lost three games in a row to the Boston Red Sox
12-2, 13-5, 6-4.  They play one more time tomorrow.  Wish them luck!

Thank you for reading Rohan Geographic!         


  1. Rohan and family - Great to catch up on your posts! Glad you made it through the adversity of travel. I know how you feel. I was thrilled you had such a blast with the kayaking! Class three no less - good on ya. I love the Galapagos islands and have to say that the underwater part is the best! Busy here getting ready to open Otter Bar for the season. Keep up the great writing,photos AND attitude. I think you do a great job of making the best out of things! love to you all peter

    1. I am coming your way soon! I am Begging my parents, to let me go, but they still think the water is a little big for me!


  2. Hi Rohan,
    I missed a couple of day's blog - busy weekend. You also have had a busy time with interesting adventures. I love your pictures, but am glad to miss what I imagine is a hot, humid jungle.
    Interesting picture of the zig zag heron and the parrots. Several years ago a yellow-crowned night heron ate fish from our pond until we discouraged him (or her) by putting a net over the pond. Do you know what kind of parrots those were? We have several colonies of monk parrots here in Austin that look a little like the ones in your picture. Love those monkeys!
    Love, Grandma

    1. The Heron in the Photo was a Rufus Tiger Heron! The Zig Zag Heron was in the dark, and if I took a photo with a flash, I would have had several strict and Angry Birders on my back!

  3. Some really nice photos there -- good work!

    I like the face on the monkey...