Ecuador Day 3

Hi Everyone

How did the day start? This was a glorious day in the Rain Forest. We all met at six thirty for a walk around the outside of the Lodge to take pictures. As soon as we walked out, we saw a beautiful bird sitting on a branch and the clicking started. Before this trip, I had not picked up a camera since mid January. Photography is just like many things in life, you need to constantly practice and learn. When I pick up a camera I use a part of my mind that lays dormant and I see the world through that portion of my mind. As this trip progresses, I realize how much I have missed seeing the world through a camera and how much I need to do just to reach my previous level of knowledge and skill before I can even learn more. As the pictures are taken, my eye is getting better and my skills are quickly returning.

Imagine standing on a terrace overlooking a beautiful rain forest with clouds constantly moving below and above? That is what I witnessed to start the day. A picture cannot tell the whole story. You need to be there and experience the moment and how precious this rain forest is. As we all know, many of our rain forests are shrinking and dying. I hope this rain forest lives forever. It needs to be preserved and protected at all costs.

After breakfast, we were driven up hill to take pictures of birds and butterflies. The drive took approximately twenty minutes over a very muddy road. After getting out of the van, we then walked downhill for about fifteen minutes to a terrace area overlooking the rain forest. Next to the terrace was an enclosed large butterfly sanctuary. Our guides put out food for the birds on branches and they started to come. The birds were so plentiful and colorful. After taking numerous pictures, I then walked into the butterfly sanctuary. What an experience. It seemed that the butterflies all became active as they sensed our presence. There were large ones and small ones. We even saw some coming out of their cocoons and spread their wings for the first time. I wanted to stay with the butterflies and let my mind wander and explore.

We left around eleven and were given a choice of either walking back or taking the van. I decided to walk back with one half the group. Along the way, a snake came wiggling on the road. Our guide grabbed him and I was the first one to let him wiggle all around me. It felt so comfortable and my sense of nature was aroused. How before creatures can be in their own environment.

We then had lunch and some down time until three.

It was then onto an experience I will never forget. We all got in the van, and drove for about twenty minutes to a terraced and roofed area to take pictures of hummingbirds. Imagine trying to take pictures of hummingbirds? How fast their wings flutter and the speed at which they fly. A whole new learning lesson. The Lodge had set up feeding stands and our guides went around to some branches and put drops of water saturated with sugar over some of the flowery branches. I was mesmerized. I eventually put my camera in manual setting and experimented with all my settings until I reached a group of settings I was satisfied with. I couldn’t stop taking pictures of this unique scene. The sound of hummingbirds flying around you, sounds like they are miniature jet airplanes. At about 6 PM, the group started to pack up and leave. I tried my best not to and was the last one to walk to the van. We are going back here our last morning.

It was then time for a quick shower and dinner. By the way, you go through clothes fast here. You always have to wear long pants and long sleeve shirts and your clothes get muddy, dirty and sweaty within a short time. I will have my laundry done tomorrow.

After dinner we went for a night hike and to find the animals that wake up and live here during the night. We put on our high boots and boarded a van for the short ride to a small creek. Of course, we all used lots of bug spray. As soon as we arrived at a designated area, we were pointed out a beautiful tree frog and then a large tarantula. Doing photography like this at night is quite a challenge. You use a metering mode called spot metering. I have never used this before and the settings I experimented with were a challenge. We found some beautiful frogs and spiders walking through the water and mud. We then hiked back to the Lodge for a well earned rest.

What photography challenges await me tomorrow in an environment that is both challenging and beautiful at the same time.



1 thought on “Ecuador Day 3”

  1. Can’t wait to see your hummingbird photos. Larry! I hope you can share your settings as well. Hard to imagine getting shots of those little rockets!


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