South America | Peru | Peruvian Amazon | Puerto Maldonado – Ahh.. so that´s why they call it the rainforest
Have got slightly longer in town than usual so can give you more than a quick ´hello´
It rained yesterday, and last night, and this morning – everything is very wet. Amazing storm yesterday evening though, which we wathched from the balcony of the lodge, beer in hand.
So what´s been happening in the jungle since my last update? I´ve done some work – which I will tell you all about later. I´ve also spent many hours wandering the forest watching the wildlife. The highlight of the last few days was a group of Brown Capuchin Monkeys that I heard crashing around in the trees. I got a glimpse of a few as they clambered around the branches and then I got a great view of one climbing, eating, scratching (the things that monkeys do). As I was watching it, the little guy spotted me and his expression changed from one of preoccupation to one of excitement. It stared intently at me moving its head to one side to get a better look, then moved onto a nearer branch hanging from its legs to get an even better view and then started to make monkey-like noises to its friends as if to say ´there´s a strange looking guy down there!´I watched this behaviour for about 5 minutes and then I realised that if I didn´t get a move on back to the lodge – I would miss lunch! My priorities haven´t changed that much! Still it was a winderful sight.
So what work have I been up to? The project that I´m doing here is studying how the trees and plants in the forest grow and develop over the seasons. This basically involves going into the forest at frequent intervals and taking digital photos from the same locations and producing animations to visualise how the forest changes, week by week. So basically, I´m being paid to take photos of the jungle – which I think is a good job, if ever there was one (but it does mean starting sometimes at 4:45). There´s a bit more to it than that though. I first had to construct and install platforms at several places in the forest to ensure that I will be taking the exact same photo every time. I will also be looking at where the holes in the forest canopy are and relating this to satellite images that I have. So plenty to do over the next 5 months.
In addition to this, I have Resident Naturalist duties such as, marking the trails, creating displays for the ´Discovery Centre´and helping the Peruvian staff with their English. But I still get plenty of time to go-a-wandering.