Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Reptiles and Amphibians of the Amazon: Frogs, Snakes, Lizards, and Caimans

In addition to all the amazing birds and mammals high in the trees of the Amazon there are many reptiles and amphibians down on the ground and in the river itself. There are many deadly snakes found in the Amazon, but luckily the only one I saw was very far away through a very big zoom lens, but I did get up close and personal with a small snake, a few stunning frogs, a couple of caiman lizards and two small lizards mating and half a dozen caiman. Unlike the mammals and birds who either are curious and came to check me out or were scared and ran away, the reptiles and amphibians took a different tactic and would freeze when I came close. Their defense mechanism is to freeze hoping I wouldn’t see them if they stayed very still, which made for some great photography! Caimans are much tamer than crocodiles or alligators and we were able to canoe right next to them and at times I had my camera mere inches from their mouth. When they finally realized I could see them their reaction was to simply go below the water and disappear. They are nocturnal animals and I saw a few larger ones at night, but the younger ones who come out during the day make for great photography subjects.

RYALE_Amazon-172
RYALE_Amazon-173
RYALE_Amazon-175
RYALE_Amazon-176
RYALE_Amazon-177
RYALE_Amazon-160
RYALE_Amazon-189
RYALE_Amazon-169
RYALE_Amazon-170
RYALE_Amazon-171
RYALE_Amazon-162
RYALE_Amazon-167
RYALE_Amazon-165

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane Irene the Aftermath

After all the hype and worry about Hurricane Irene in New York City it really turned out to be a whole lot of nothing. My 25th floor apartment hardly creaked in the wind and it felt no different from in here at least than bad storms we get during the winter. I know it hit other parts of the country much worse than it did here so I don't mean to make light of it, but in New York City we all rode out the storm glued to New York 1 waiting for something exciting to happen that never did.  I walked around downtown yesterday from my Tribeca apartment up to my sister's in the West Village and really there was no damage to be seen except for some uprooted trees in a small park in the West Village across from Magnolia Bakery.  Other than those fallen trees and fence all I saw were a couple puddles and small branches strewn around the city streets.  All the barricading seems to have been a little overkill, but better safe than sorry!

RYALE_Hurricane_Irene_Aftermath_NYC-1
RYALE_Hurricane_Irene_Aftermath_NYC-2
RYALE_Hurricane_Irene_Aftermath_NYC-3RYALE_Hurricane_Irene_Aftermath_NYC-4
RYALE_Hurricane_Irene_Aftermath_NYC-5
RYALE_Hurricane_Irene_Aftermath_NYC-6
RYALE_Hurricane_Irene_Aftermath_NYC-7
RYALE_Hurricane_Irene_Aftermath_NYC-8
RYALE_Hurricane_Irene_Aftermath_NYC-9

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hurricane Irene NYC

Photographs taken from my 25th floor Tribeca apartment window from 8pm on 8/27 to 2am on 8/28.
Stay safe NYC.
xo

RYALE_Hurricane_Irene-1
RYALE_Hurricane_Irene-2
RYALE_Hurricane_Irene-3
RYALE_Hurricane_Irene-4
RYALE_Hurricane_Irene-5

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Monkeys of the Amazon Part 2: Marmosets, Wooly, Monk, Squirrel and Owl

The most common monkeys of Yasuni National Park are the capuchin, squirrel and howler, but with a bit of patience, searching and luck there are many more to see like the endangered wooly and spider monkey. Also in Yasuni are the adorable marmosets, dusky titi monkeys, the big-eyed night monkeys, and the very odd looking and rare monk saki monkeys. While your gazing up into the trees around the Amazon you can also spot both two-toed and three-toed sloths. Actually closer to armadillos than to monkeys in DNA, they are funny little animals that dwell high in the trees and can be spotted lounging around usually either sleeping or eating leaves.

RYALE_Amazon-97
RYALE_Amazon-99
RYALE_Amazon-103
RYALE_Amazon-128
RYALE_Amazon-141
RYALE_Amazon-145
RYALE_Amazon-149
RYALE_Amazon-150
RYALE_Amazon-151
RYALE_Amazon-153
RYALE_Amazon-155
RYALE_Amazon-156

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Monkeys of the Amazon: Capuchins and Howlers

The two most common monkeys that I saw everywhere along the river and its tributaries were the White-fronted Capuchin and the Red Howler Monkey. The capuchins were literally everywhere I looked and I saw them feeding, playing, fighting with other monkeys and often getting very close to curiously stare at me and then run away back into the trees.

RYALE_Amazon-105
RYALE_Amazon-110
RYALE_Amazon-112
RYALE_Amazon-117
RYALE_Amazon-122
RYALE_Amazon-123
RYALE_Amazon-126

The Howler monkeys were less curious in general and did not come as close. I could hear them from very far away as they make a loud noise using their large throats that they use to communicate with each other. Unlike the capuchins that live in large groups of 20 or more the Howler monkeys live in much smaller groups and were very territorial of the area they were foraging in. The howler monkeys ignored me for the most part except one day towards the end of my trip it started to rain hard and a group of 4 all huddled together under a very tall palm tree. I was lying on my back in the bottom of the canoe with my lens pointed straight up snapping away. There were three younger ones and they could all obviously see me and they would hide on a tree branch then quickly poke their heads around to stare down at me then back to hiding. It was the perfect time of year for monkey watching because the fruit and trees were abundant and they came right to the rivers edge to feed and play.

RYALE_Amazon-129
RYALE_Amazon-131
RYALE_Amazon-132
RYALE_Amazon-134
RYALE_Amazon-135
RYALE_Amazon-137
RYALE_Amazon-139
 
Pin It button on image hover