16. Ecuador Adventures and Frogs – Anaconda Part V

Closeup of a curious caiman being held in a human hand

Tuesday, June 13th, Caimans, Snakes, Frogs

We lingered at the Caiman pond just at sunset, and listened to the 11 baby dwarf caiman bleating.

A butterfly on a camera pack seemed almost surreal:
  Back at the lodge, Melvin was busy trying to photograph a poison dart frog on some leaf litter which he raised up in a most creative way. Including his matching boot in my image was more fun.

Resting quietly before dinner, we got a peaceful view of the river:

Suddenly the quiet was broken with a thundering sound across the wooden porch.  From there, out toward the water in the grass, Jaime had spotted his prize of the evening, a yellow snake, and was running towards it!  

Photo Credit Katie O’Donnell

Victor found a purple caecilian.  There was quite a long and ongoing struggle as Victor tried to get and keep it in one place on a leaf.

We went back on the same path we had taken the night before. 

This time I was better prepared with mosquito netting over my head, and it felt much better having seen in the daylight the swamp that I had waded through, nearly blindly, the night before.

This was another time when I felt intensely ambivalent regarding my desire to see whatever was being found, and the need for the creature to be held for a better view for all.

The little caiman that Jaime caught off the pier made me feel saddest. S/he was emitting little eheheh sounds.  When Jaime put it back, it just sat immobile in the water for a while, until it finally swam away.  What would YOU tell your mother if your head had been held in a giant hand that could go all the way around your neck?

But I would go back again on another SAVE THE FROGS! Ecotour in a heartbeat.