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Rollin' on the Rupununi

Monday, January 19, 2009

A female osprey surveys the Rupununi. It's so good to see my old friend here.

Winter's beauty is seducing me and the blog ant in me is at war with the grasshopper. Snow and sunrise photos, sledding and winter weeds pile up in my library. Winter is timeless, frozen; it can wait, I think. I have to write more about Guyana before I forget how it all felt. Even as the mercury sits at zero this peach and turquoise morning.
What a cute boatload. Kirk, Asaph, Luke, Erica and a boatman whose name I didn't catch enjoy a humid evening cruise on the Rupununi. The boatmen were awesome, very attuned to the wildlife and approaching without scaring it.

If you haven't already noticed, we spent a lot of time in boats in Guyana. Rivers are the only roads in most of the interior, so the whalers and skiffs we rode in were our cars. I highly recommend boat travel. You see so much! In this one, we were traveling from Karanambu Ranch (the place with the crab-eating raccoon, the giant anteater and the eccch Marmite) to a nearby eco lodge called Caiman House.

Kingfishers were everywhere: Amazons and ringed being the most common. Here, a ringed kingfisher shows us his nictitating membrane, which closes over his eyes when he dives full-force into the water.He can still see through it; it just protects the tender orb from impact and foreign objects. He's wishing me into the cornfield.Thinking about composition now:

When I first see a bird, my shots are usually blurry. It takes me a while to calm down enough to get a sharp one. To wit:Amazon kingfisher with prey. Ooo!
The photography angels whisper in my ear. All right, Zick, stop hyperventilating. These kingfishers aren't as spooky as your nemesis, the belted kingfisher back home in Ohio.
Now that you have some grab shots you can think about composition. That's better.
But he had a fish!
I know. No reason to punch the shutter and hyperventilate. Stay calm.
I'm working on it. I am excitable.
Hundreds of deleted photos later, I know!


I feel the same way too when I come across some lifers. So hard to contain my excitement and take pictures at the same time.

And that's an amazing picture of the Ringed Kingfisher with its nictitating membrane. What a marvelous thing evolution is.

Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

Peach and turquoise morning. Ah, it's amazing how many colors are in that white snow isn't it? they made me happy to be out brushing off my car again this morning...and it was a balmy 12 degrees too!

Your Guyana trip is just fascinating. It's nice to have a peek at somewhere tropical (wait, is it tropical? I'm so geographically challenged) to balance out all the winter beauty in my own neighborhood.

Man, send those photography angels my way. Landscape photography is more my speed. I've managed a decent picture of a baby snapping turtle, but not much else that can move! Thanks for the laughs :)

I do a similar thing as I approach a critter.
I call them "Insurance shots", I know I'm too far and too shaky for handheld zoom, but I shoot anyway as I inch closer just so I have something.Each picture gets progressively larger and better.
Later, it's delete, delete, delete.
I need to email you for a bit of wisdom.

I am so glad you shared that--the hyperventilation. I sometimes stop breathing and am way too impatient on the snapping. Great photos.

I love the kingfisher photos. The Ringed remind me of the Belted ones we have here, except a lot more colorful. One of my favorite birds so this was a treat!

I think "Rupununi" is my favorite word of the day, and it sounds very Guyana-ish -- are you sure that Osprey was in Ohio...
(tomorrow, my favorite word will be "sayonara" to 'W' and his cronies ;-))

Love ospreys, and this one looks very majestic and in control. Good catch of the kingfisher eating, too. Looks like a fun group of folks for fellow travelers.

I get heart palpitations behind the lens when a kingfisher's in view. You done good, Julie! You nailed that Kingfisher with his meal as a bonus! Ohhhh.



I'd have been shaking with glee the entire trip!!! Beautiful photos Julie!

I get the shakes too! It is so much fun! I truely enjoy reading about your experiences at Indigo Hill and on your travels.

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