Our current time zone: GMT +8 (We're home in Singapore!)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Other Inhabitants of the Falls/Foz

In case we have not mentioned it before, both the Iguazu Falls (on the Argentinean side) and the Foz do Iguassu (on the Brazilian side) are ensconced within National Parks. And what really impressed us was that these National Parks are as well-run and well-maintained as any of the other Parks we've seen in the USA.

While there are signs of Man's encroachment, with roads, boardwalks, and public trains/buses, these look to have been carefully planned out, and left huge swaths of forested area intact.

And where there are trees, life abounds! Here are some of the other inhabitants we spied enjoying the proximity to the falls.

Bzz the busy bee. With pollen stuck on it's coat too!

These bee and its bee-rothers were spotted furthest away from the Falls. We actually spotted them along the intersection of a river, where Argentina, Bee-razil and Uruguay share bee-orders.

I'm not worried about getting wet! I'm a raincoati!

Coatis, according to Wikipedia, are also known as Brazilian Aardvarks (to me, it sounds suspiciously like a Brazilian I'd... nevermind... let's keep this post child-friendly). And the tail is a dead giveaway - it's part of the raccoon family.

These coatis seemed to have been spoiled by human presence though. This one was spotted walking around the alfresco area of a cafe (not a high-end cafe, but just one that sells drinks and snacks). It was approaching other people for food. We were mentally trying to will others into ignoring the coati, but one couple seemed to be immune to our combined mental efforts. The lady teased the coati with her sandwich so that its front paws were on her knees while the guy was busily snapping away with his camera. Tsk. If language wasn't a problem for us, I'd have told them off!

This 'pecker looks slightly bent at the head...

Unlike the woodpeckers we saw in Jamestown and Ushuaia, this was a particularly lovely species. The wife just ooh and ahhed over its blue eyeshadow. We saw it pecking on wood a few times, but it was mostly quite content to look back at the human passers-by!


Bird taunted us as we were walking by. Sigh. We're not 'cheep'! We're on a budget, damnit!

While we were doing a bit of research for one of our earlier blogs, the wife came across the term LBB, an acronym for Little Brown Bird. There are so many LBBs all over the place that it became a very useful term for us to use.

In this case, this little darling is obviously not an LBB. So I'll just call it an UPB - Unidentified Pretty Bird. Any birders who wish me to identify the bird correctly, just drop us a comment!

Oh, and it's got a nice blue eyeshadow too. The birds here all quite 'hiao'.

A possible relative of Elizardbeth?

On the Argentinean side of the falls, there is a Sheraton that is situated within the park, with possibly a spectacular view upriver to the falls. Now, from the hotel, guests can walk along a path to get to the boardwalks to get up close to the falls. It was along this path that we spotted this monstrosity. Two of them, actually, on either side of the path, as if guarding it.

They look menacing enough that I didn't want to fool around with them too much! Other than tossing a stick at the one that was facing away...

Okay, okay, they are not dragons, but they were huuuge!

Your plain ol' garden variety spider. Burns into a crisp the moment you turn on the stove while they are in the Ring of Fire...

When you get to the Brazilian side of the falls, you can board a (free) bus that takes you further into the park. Everybody alights at the start of a 1.5km walk, where you can view the falls from across the river.

The walk is pretty straightforward, just one-way with no options to go on different pathways. But to make things interesting, the wooden boardwalk with it's wooden handrails are full of critters just begging to be photographed!

Come to my parlour...

This spider will always have the right-of-way wherever it walks. Why? Because it bothers to bring around its personal zebra-crossing!

Spinnerets working to repair damage to the web

This was by far the most common spider there. I call it the Psychedelic Nut Spider.

Morning stretches

Oh, by the way, we were watching Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me a couple of nights before going to see the falls. And (I haven't even told the wife this yet - she was photographing the falls while I was shooting spiders and stuff) there was actually a Dr Evil-esque conversation going on in my mind while I was trying to get a nice sharp picture.

Dr Evil Spider: I have the most powerful spinnerets ever. I call it the "Death Ass" (And yeah.. there are those quotation mark finger actions too, in my imagination).

President: What do you want from us?!

Dr Evil Spider: If you do not give in to my demands, I shall use my "Death Ass" to spin a web around the world. Nobody will ever move again. I call this, my ultimate weapon, the "World Wide Web".

President: Nooooooooo!

Dr Evil Spider: Yes! And if you want to continue moving, to move around and do your itty bitty jobs, you will have to give me.... *deep breath* ONE MILLION DOLLARS! Bwahahahaahahaahahaha!!!!

Okay, I'm sometimes weird that way. Strange things just pop into my mind for no reason at all. *shrugs*

Boring looking thing

I dedicated a previous post to the number of butterflies that can be seen around the falls. Well, you can't have butterflies without having caterpillars. It's a bit like seeing pictures of your primary school classmate after 20+ years and going "Whoa! What a babe! How come I never talked to her much in school?"

Yeah... puberty is a time of great and marvelous changes.

I love this one! It just reminds me of Animal, from the Muppets!

You know, I was shocked when I found out that my father-in-law snips caterpillars into two whenever he finds them in his garden. He then throws them into the pond for the fish, so the caterpillars do not exactly die in vain.

But those are such boring caterpillars. Maybe if they are spectacular like these, he might be more merciful?

We'll see. The wife just replied to his earlier comment, asking him to bring mum to the falls as well. And yeah... we will make sure he leaves the scissors at home!

This one was waving it's head so frantically that I could not get a clear sharp shot at it. But yeah, it's another Muppet-like caterpillar!

Grasshopper-legged, Leaf-bodied Insect!

A cross between a grasshopper and leaf insect, maybe?

I seriously have no idea what this insect is, but I tell you, it's got a lot of guts. The shot above was a normal macro shot. Then I wanted to take a super macro shot, that required me to move in close and practically jam my camera right at it's face.

Do that to a butterflies and bees, and they fly off. Do that to caterpillars, they wave their heads frantically, denying you that clear shot. Do that to a toucan and they might poke your freaking eyes out. What did this insect do?

It climbed up the barrel of my lens and just sat on my camera for the longest time. It was even clever enough to sit on the flash, so I can't switch the camera off to conserve power (the flash unit will fold down, possibly trapping its foot).

Bugsy pwned my camera

Clever bug-ger!

P.S Looking back, I realise this post has not exactly been very child-friendly. Umm... I think it's me. Sorry!


Anonymous said...

Ah, thank god i was reading this late at night when the kids are asleep! if not i wont know what to reply them if they asked about your comment on "birds and bees" :p


Celine Tan said...

You mean there are such pretty insects out there? Almost makes me hate cockroaches less haha. Amazing pix, guys!

Dannie said...

Hey Celine,

Noo.... please continue to hate cockroaches. Until someone bioengineers them to breath in carbon dioxide and give out oxygen, anyway :)

Anonymous said...

The coatis were evil! one stole my burger from right under my nose! the snivelly pests.... it probably would have grabbed me too if a kind man didn't swipe at it with a broomstick.

love the rest of your pics - such pretty insects!


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