In addition to all the amazing birds and mammals high in the trees of the Amazon there are many reptiles and amphibians down on the ground and in the river itself. There are many deadly snakes found in the Amazon, but luckily the only one I saw was very far away through a very big zoom lens, but I did get up close and personal with a small snake, a few stunning frogs, a couple of caiman lizards and two small lizards mating and half a dozen caiman. Unlike the mammals and birds who either are curious and came to check me out or were scared and ran away, the reptiles and amphibians took a different tactic and would freeze when I came close. Their defense mechanism is to freeze hoping I wouldn’t see them if they stayed very still, which made for some great photography! Caimans are much tamer than crocodiles or alligators and we were able to canoe right next to them and at times I had my camera mere inches from their mouth. When they finally realized I could see them their reaction was to simply go below the water and disappear. They are nocturnal animals and I saw a few larger ones at night, but the younger ones who come out during the day make for great photography subjects.
After all the hype and worry about Hurricane Irene in New York City it really turned out to be a whole lot of nothing. My 25th floor apartment hardly creaked in the wind and it felt no different from in here at least than bad storms we get during the winter. I know it hit other parts of the country much worse than it did here so I don’t mean to make light of it, but in New York City we all rode out the storm glued to New York 1 waiting for something exciting to happen that never did. I walked around downtown yesterday from my Tribeca apartment up to my sister’s in the West Village and really there was no damage to be seen except for some uprooted trees in a small park in the West Village across from Magnolia Bakery. Other than those fallen trees and fence all I saw were a couple puddles and small branches strewn around the city streets. All the barricading seems to have been a little overkill, but better safe than sorry!