Monday, March 9, 2009

It's a Jungle Out There!

The Guayana Trail. If it looks hot and steamy, that's because it is, along with a bumper crop of chiggers! We quickly learned about protective measures when one of the guys showed up the first day with bites over all of the lower parts of his legs. This particular location is a footpath that leads from Venezuela to neighboring Guayana, within walking distance. The land belongs to the indigenous people, but we were assured it was fine for us to be here.
They grow big spiders and webs in the rainforest.
Epiphytes cover nearly every surface. In some areas, these hardy little plants even grew on the utility lines.

Photograph by Mark Watson.

As I thought about all the marvelous birds we saw on this trip, there is one that brings a smile to my face each time: the Scarlet-horned Manakin. We watched the male perform his unique courtship moonwalk dance in the style of Michael Jackson deep in the tropical forest. I’ll never forget the abandon with which he danced – as if no one were watching. Check out another manakin species dancing and then check out the shorter clip of this little fellow.

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