But Brynne didn't remember about the firefly. She did walk in with one on her shoulder when she returned from the bathroom this morning.
Rob was in tough shape from the allergic reaction. His face was swollen with one eye nearly shut, and his hands and right elbow were swollen. The anti-histamine had helped the itching somewhat, but...
We looked for hummingbirds around the lodge. On the lodge porch were photographs including one of a row of turtles with butterflies flying about and landing on their heads. The butterflies get salt from the turtles' tears.
|Golden Tortoise Beetle|
We left the Amazonia by 7:00 AM, by boat.
|Rufino and Willi freeing the boat|
Also, once in a while the engine just stopped, and as we drifted, the pilot would siphon gasoline from a metal barrel into the outboard engine. Then we were on our way again.
Two men hailed us from the shore, and we turned around to run aground near them as one boarded the boat.
|Oh, that lever plank is now a gangplank!|
At every chance, Willi dipped a sponge in the river and wiped off the mud from the gunwales and floor of the boat.
|Rob, Jan, Kirby, and Percy|
|Tamiko & Brynne|
We made another stop where the passengers were let off on one side of the river, with the opportunity to relieve ourselves if needed, and the boatmen went to the other side of the river to onload or offload a gasoline barrel, or both.
|Kirby walking the gangplank|
|River monster logs|
|Muddy river running into clear river|
The marina at Boca Manu had shells of boats in different stages of being built.
Those trees are given to local families who then cut off the roots and cut up the trunk to be used, for one thing, as the basis of a new boat. One of the trees used for canoes/boats is the catahua tree, called the “Naked Tree” because its bark constantly peels away (a preventative measure to stop vines from attaching) to reveal a stunning red trunk. The tree is believed to be sacred and none of the local people will fell one.
Another species used is the “Holy Tree” or Ceiba/Kapok tree.
|Emerging Kapok trees perhaps|
It was here that some of us sank into the soft clay stairs which led down to the boat.
We had lunch as the boat continued up the Manu River, and we started seeing more birds and wildlife.
Saw lots more Roadside Hawks, this time along the river; “Riverside” Hawks?! “Wayside” Hawks?! Also, Muscovy Ducks, Orinoco Geese, Neotropic Cormorants and Anhingas, Great Egrets, loads of Snowy Egrets, Fasciated Tiger-Herons, Cocoi Herons, Wood Storks, Pied Lapwings, Collared Plovers, Black Skimmers, Sand-colored Nighthawks; and Ringed, Amazon, and Green Kingfishers. Also Horned Screamers (when you see them up close, they are a scream!). Flying overhead were several types of Vultures and Hawks, Osprey, Black Caracaras, Yellow-billed and Large-billed Terns, White-eyed and Dusky-headed Parrots, Cobalt-winged Parakeets, Chestnut-collared and White-collared Swifts, White-banded Swallows; and Russet-backed and Olive/Amazonian Oropendolas.
Because the river is always changing course, pioneer plants populate the eroded banks of the river. Great or wild cane (Gynerium sagittatum) and cecropia trees, followed by tropical cedar and ficus trees.
|Great cane and cecropia trees|
|Great cane and perhaps Kapok trees|
Brynne and I kept smelling a particular zoo smell that we associated with wild cats and were being told we were smelling the wild garlic trees. Ha! So the next time we smelled it, we yelled out, “We smell it!” and were told that we were actually smelling peccaries. Okay, not as exciting as jaguars, but certainly better than wild garlic!
Saw a wasp nest that looked like a giant white boat fender (cylindrical “bumper” hanging over the side of small boats to absorb impact) hanging at the top of a very tall tree.
It started to pour rain again, but this time we were in the back of the boat.
|Brynne bundled against the rain|
|Jan laughing at Brynne|
|Jan and Tamiko|
|Sunset on the Manu River|
This time we did our birding list at 6:30 PM before dinner. Had a great quinoa soup, with tiny “c’s” of quinoa grain in with the vegetables. The super grain of the Andes, this protein-rich grain has all nine amino acids. Had a long conversation with Rob and Percy. Could hear the flute-like calls of a couple different species of Tinamous.