Watery Vistas with Sky Filling Flocks of Herons; Jacaré Alligators, Howler Monkeys, Toucans (well, One Toucan), and the wonderfully weird and brilliantly named Tuiuiu!
Brazil – Django Reinhardt
Our second Pantanal excursion. You can explore the Pantanal by car in the dry season, but to really grasp the water-logged region, it’s best to take a boat into the waters. We took a day trip up the Paraguay river from Corumba.
Before we left, two green Parakeets sat on a wire just at the dock. After all the trouble they gave me when I tried to photograph the flighty buggers during our road excursion, this was mighty obliging of them, even if they did keep their back to me.
Above and beside, these great lily pads are called Victoria Regina. Something tells me it wasn’t a Portuguese gentlemen who coined the name.
Our guide pointed out two shapes in the tree that untangled and revealed themselves to be howler monkeys that eventually slunk away to another tree beyond our view.
And next, the beautifully strange and man-sized Tuiuiu birds.
More widely know as Jabiru, Tuiuiu is the name they are given in Southern Brazil. I love this name. Tuiuiu, pronounced Two-you-you. Or 2UU.
So, in honor of the Tuiuiu (2UU), we’ll play something from U2… and since we’re on the water…
U2 – Every Breaking Wave
See that splash of color within the green leaves below?
My proof that we did actually see Toucans. This is the only time I managed to capture the fantastic and fantastically elusive bird on camera.
It flew past our view, as others had, but then unlike all the others we spotted briefly it settled on that branch, allowing this shot. Uncharacteristically obliging again, like those Parakeets, although also again with its back towards me…
Harpy eagle, I believe:
White herons. En masse.
A water hyacinth:
Look below, see the jacaré caiman alligator?
No? OK, let’s get a little closer… see it now?
Now, for sure…
Eventually the jacaré decided we had gotten a little too close and swam away.
But there are always more jacaré to find in the waters of the Pantanal…
Below, snail eggs:
A jacaré carcass, the tail removed. It is illegal to kill jacaré, but it still happens.
Harpy eagle, I assume again.
See the two howler monkeys in the tree below? The brown figure in the middle and the black figure in the right lower corner?
Let’s focus on the black howler monkey:
Settlements inside the Pantanal are built on stilts, showing how high the waters will rise during the rainy season. At that time the inhabitants of these houses will have no solid ground to walk on. All elements of the settlement not on stilts will be removed and stored inside one of the permanent constrictions during the high water season.
The Pantanal grasses (below) will simply rise with the waters. Only the trees have roots tethered to the ground.
In other words, this is not a wide field, but a wide grass covered lagoon: