Entries in Peru (2)

Tuesday
Jul232019

Jungle Dawn Chorus

Starting out in the morning fog on the Las PiedrasThe dawn chorus in the jungle has a particular bass beat, like a deep wave washing through the dense trees, or like the earth itself is exhaling. What is that, I wonder. I’m sitting in a dinky plastic pack raft on the Las Piedras River, cradling my camera, and straining to see something in the green on green on green that lines the river. I’ve set out with three others on this foggy dawn float, but they are already a bend and a half down the river so I feel alone. Alone with the caiman lounging on the sandy banks and the Pied Lapwings tip-toeing along the river’s edge. Alone with the Parakeets that flock across the river, screaming their destination and their joy. Alone with the Sunbittern and the Hoatzin, bi rds that seem created from an artist’s fantasy of a bird. Alone not at all.

 

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Sunday
Jun302019

Swimming with my fears

Swimming with JJ (left) and VishalaI’m grateful that it is only on the third day that Paul tells me that the Las Piedras River, where we have been boating, floating and swimming, my clothes perpetually wet from the afternoon plunges, is swimming with Piranhas. I knew about the Caiman, Spectacled and Yellow, that I’ve seen lounging on the banks, and scoot off whenever the boat comes near. I’ve tamed my response to snakes—an embarrassing nerve jangling recoil—by understanding that every snake is more afraid of me than I am of it. But Piranhas, that’s news. I laugh and say: cool.

 

 

 

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