This is a much longer post than my usual, but I wanted to put this photo set out together. These were all taken on our visit to the Ecuadorian Cloud Forest where we stayed in excellent Mashpi Lodge within the Masphi Biodiversity Reserve. We crammed a lot in to our few days there and had two enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides accompanying our small group – Sebastian and Angelo. Oh, and the food was great too.
First up, the cloud forest, where the clouds form, as can be seen in the following shots, together with the mistiness you get when walking in amongst the trees. Tranquil, with lots of wildlife to try to spot. Thankfully our guides were patient in helping us to spot things.
And an Iguana, having a wee rest in a tree, but keeping an eye on us too. Perhaps a Dwarf Iguana?
If I was paying attention to our guide, then this is a harmless, relatively slow moving, if large, millipede, which lives on decaying plant material whereas the faster moving centipede has a nasty bite and is carnivourous – we didn’t see the latter.
We were warned not to put our hands on anything even if to stop ourselves from stumbling and here’s one of the reasons why – a Tarantula, which was gently coaxed out of a burrow using a long stick. This ain’t a good shot, mainly because I was being careful not to get to close and it only darted out briefly.
This is the Mashpi Lodge Observation Tower, where you can get good views across the forest canopy.
We spotted this wee fella next to the path. A Glasswing Butterfly – clear wings which have taken on a blueish cast in this shot.
Two Toucans – I’ll avoid some bad humour for once.
And some nice jewellery perhaps, except it’s Butterfly Pupae. The metallic colouring is used to warn off predators, signifying poison. An interesting way of defence against getting chomped.
And on to Hummingbirds. These are really difficult to shoot as they are like sugared up kids, never stopping for more than a second or two before – zip – gone! They live on high energy nectar or, in this case, visit sugar-water feeders.
This one isn’t a hummingbird, but I can’t remember what it is as I was overdosing on hummingbird shots at the time.
More Ecuador to follow.