For this week’s post, I’d like to share some of the nature we encountered in Mexico. I was a bit frustrated with the outcome of my photos. Not only is the lighting difficult in the jungle, but animals do not stay still! Then there was the time I managed to set my camera to some sepia mode?!
There is a certain thrill, when witnessing a fleeting encounter with nature. We had a turquoised-browed motmot land on a branch right outside our 2nd floor window, and its beauty was jaw dropping. It was sort of a pinch-me-moment, where I say to Woody, “You saw that, right? It was just there. . .” Here’s an image of such a motmot, which I’m borrowing from Pinterest:
Luckily, there were a handful of times I was fast with the focus, and managed to capture these fleeting moments. Check this out, we had about 7 collared aracari, a type of toucan, land near our temporary jungle home. They reminded me of raucous teenagers, swooping into camp, making a bunch of noise, shaking broken branches out of the trees, and then, gone; looking for some better action, I supposed.
These toucans aren’t as iconic as the motmot, but I was so excited they visited.
You are guaranteed to catch flashes of flying yellow in the Yucatán. Some muted, others brilliant. Even though my bird photos aren’t spectacular, I appreciated having them for later identification.
I have just a couple more birds to share, and then on to the mammals. How about this cinnamon colored bird, known as a squirrel cuckoo:
They seemed a gentle bird, and quiet. Not once did I hear them peep, and have no idea why “cuckoo” is in their name.
We had chachalacas visit in the mornings. Don’t you love that name? You would think they have some hot “cha-cha” move, but actually they struck me as clumsy birds, massive in size, and awkward in trees. Walking from branch to branch, not hopping, and often missing a step, then flapping like crazy to regain balance.
I enjoyed having this birding-thing as a new hobby, it opened all sorts of windows which I had not experienced before.
In the past, our stays in Mexico were on the coast, this time we opted for a few more amenities, like kitchenettes or breakfast, and inland from the water. Essentially, what hoteliers refer to as the “jungle side.”
On To The Mammals!
In the jungle there were interesting beasts to encounter. Again my photos would serve as a good tool to identify what it was we saw. For example, have you ever seen one of these before:
Somewhere between a rabbit and a guinea pig, these fellas are called agouti. We saw them frequently in the early evening, dining on dropped fruit.
We saw Spider Monkeys:
and Howler Monkeys. (I only have black blob photos of the Howlers) If you’ve never heard a howler monkey, they sound scary! Here’s my attempt at capturing their creepy call.
The award for Miss Personality, goes to this coati – she (I’m guessing she’s a “she”) came by only once. Her cousins stopped by now & then, but they are much more timid.
How about wild pigs? We saw several of them – not at all timid from busy road traffic and pedestrians. I think they’re foraging for whatever people throw to the side of the road.
Other Critter Encounters in Nature
You know what, the insects are bigger in the jungle. I guess everyone knows that.
It would have been cool if I had an underwater camera, since some of the more spectacular nature is found in the ocean. The snorkeling was incredible.
For good measure, I have to throw in a few fauna photos:
And, no Yucatán photo compilation would be complete without the contented iguana.
Seems like they’re always meditating, while luxuriating in the sun. I believe he’s sending a message. Happiness is a way of thinking, very little else is needed.