Welcome! Since I will not have the resources to e mail my usual circle of friends and family while in Ecuador, this is it. This Blog will be my vehicle for "dropping you a line..."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Today seems like a good day to talk about the sights and sounds here. Time is different here... The morning starts with birds calling at twilight. This morning I woke to light from the shining moon. It was 5 am. The kitchen staff was already at work, adding their sounds to the early morning. As the day unfolds, different animals add their chorus. If you listen carefully, you can hear the distant, low chuff of the howler monkey. I walked down to the pier area to see if any birds visible. It is a favorite place of several. I did see yellow water lilies. I had not seen them open before. As the sun comes up, animals of all kinds are looking for their breakfast, including me. Today's fare was eggs scrambled with peppers, yuca and green bananas. The servings are always too big... the staff works very hard and needs it. I don't! Today's sounds are also those of work. But, depending on where you walk, you find yourself in different "micro zones". By watching carefully for movement, a butterfly can be spotted. The camouflage is amazing. You see a flash of red, blue, orange, or red, but as soon as it lands, it seems to disappear. Not only does it look like a leaf, but its posture is also used to deceive. Head down seems to be a favorite. It looks like is growing on the spot it landed. I discovered a moth on the screen in the lounge that looked like dried leaves, in shape and in pattern... but what really amazed me was the abdomen. It looked like a fat twig and was held perpendicular to the wings! I had plenty of time for a photo shot, alas, it was still there, hours later, having expended it's life laying eggs. Life and death that is the rainforest... Organic matter is decomposed and reabsorbed very quickly here. Walking around the lodge, I discovered an extremely large colony of leaf cutter ants. As I continued to walk along the boardwalk, the line of marching ants seemed to go on as far as I could follow. There is a colony near the office, and as I followed the trail, I found additional ones. The workers are in a flow up and down a tree and packing leaves back to the burrow. There they grow fungi on the leaves to feed on.  I look forward to the afternoon rain, it cools the air. If we do not get rain, the heat and humidity are stifling. I had a “care package” from Quito with gator aide. I was getting dehydrated. Today I relocated to another cabin. It is extremely comfortable. Some remodeling is happening this week, and my previous cabin is getting some attention. No rain so far, it has been sunny, but the clouds are building. After a vegetarian lunch of delicious soup and a dish of rice, shredded carrot salad and an interesting grain/cheese dish, I took a quick nap in the hammock in the  in the screened porch. Now it is time to get back to work! There is a lot to write about...

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