Varzea Forest

Dec 21, 2017 - Delfin II

Even on the Summer Solstice here in the Amazon, close to the equator, the sun still rises just about the same time it does every other day of the year. And that is just about the time the optional 5:30 AM wake-up call comes on the Delfin II. As the sun slowly climbed into the sky on Solstice, the fog obscured it from our view. This created quite the ethereal experience as we cruised along in the skiffs listening for and seeking out wildlife.

It wasn’t long before we were rewarded with a few groups of blue and yellow macaws in plain view. Also in the area were red-bellied macaws, some audible, but not visible, parrots, and various other jungle birds joining the morning chorus. After viewing the macaws, we headed towards land to explore the Varzea forest a bit. This is the part of the jungle that will be under water for many months of the year. As the wet season has just started, we were still able to access this area and view the buttressed roots on several trees, the vines hanging down from above, seeking a location to take root and a few heliconia flowers with their bright red bracts that serve as a wonderful attractant to one of their main pollinators: hummingbirds.

We were met by our skiffs at the other end of the walk and continued to explore the forest through a narrow tributary and had the amazing good fortune to spot a little group of Night Monkeys. It would indeed be challenging not to use the word ‘cute’ when describing these tiny primates, however, they were indeed not hard to look at!

After breakfast and some cruising, guests had the opportunity to learn even more about the local cuisine when the head chef of the Delfin II offered a bit of a cooking lesson-class and shared information about the different ingredients and spices used in the delectable we have been consuming…which was apparent in the lunch following his presentation.

A bit more kayaking this afternoon, was followed by a later than usual afternoon skiff ride, with the intentional plan to stay out after dark seeking nocturnal wildlife, including the red-eye-glowing caimans (note: their eyes don’t always glow red…only when one shines their flashlight directly into it.) We were not disappointed by this night excursion!

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About the Author

David Jaffe

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

For more than 25 years David Jaffe has guided and taught a variety of audiences about our natural world and our connection with it. His childhood interest in natural systems eventually brought him to Evergreen State College where he earned a B.S. in Environmental Studies and Geology, followed by a M.S in Applied Ecology from the University of Vermont. Mingling an academic background with experience working around the world in exceptionally diverse environments, he is able to efficiently observe, understand, and interpret natural and cultural history.

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