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The Amazing New Adventures of Larry and Mark - Peru, Land of the Incas

Chapter 35

Inkaterra Plant and Bird Life

 

We have come down off Machu Picchu after our first afternoon there.

It was an amazing afternoon, and we look forward to great new

sights tomorrow.  We are now taking a short walk down the railroad tracks to

the  Inkaterra Machu Picchu.  It looks like an old train station, because that's

what it was.

 

 

The reception building is the old railroad station, which was all that was left of the large station when an

earthquake rolled the mountain down on the station and destroyed it years ago.  This eco-lodge is now

 nestled up into the hill.  This area has a rainforest microclimate, and the birds and flowers abound. 

It is reborn as an ecolodge until the next earthquake.

 

 

It's easy to get lost in here.  Flowers and plants surround all the

trails to the rooms, and one path looks a lot like another.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lemon tree adjacent to one of the trails.  Near the bar, I think.

 

 

Up here, bromeliads are indoor, protected plants.  Not so down there.

They are attached to any tree, picking up nutrients and water from rain

and from the bark.

 

 

The heliconia family is very common in South American

cloud forests. 

 

 

While this was not the season for many of the orchid flowers, there were

still some we found.

 

 

This one has a flower only 1/4 inch. 

 

  

This orchid is attached to the spaghetti-like stem.

 

 

Bad photo of birds, but great picture of the banana tree!

I never knew they grew this way!

 

 

 

 

 

While staying at the Inkaterra Machu Picchu, we had the chance to do hummingbird and orchid walks, and we saw some more birds too. 

 

 

 Blue-Grey Tanager

 

Booted Racquet-Tail

They are so fast and flitty, I have never been able to get sharp

photos of many of the hummingbirds.  This bird has something in

common with the next bird:  both of them pull portions of their tail

 

 

feathers in order to make the end look like a paddle or racquet, presumably

in order to look more attractive to the opposite sex.

 

Here's a better photo of a booted racquet-tail I took a few years

ago in Ecuador:

 

Highland Motmot

 

 

Masked Trogon Female

It was thrilling to see a bird like this, but later checking online

 

 

shows that it clearly didn't show us its best side.  Here's the

female bird on an image on the net, and the male is even more

colorful:

 

 

Orange Bellied Euphonia

 

 

At lunch, we were at a restaurant in town (Aguas Calientes) which

bordered the little stream.  We will have a chapter later about how

this "stream" can sometimes be a little wilder than that.  Anyway,

Mark Blazis looks out, and proclaims, "look at those torrent ducks!" 

The Torrent Duck is found in the Andes all the way south to Tierra del Fuego. 

 

Torrent Duck - male and female - are busy in the water, looking

for something to eat. 

 

 

They seek fast mountain streams where they seek insects, small fish

and molluscs among the rocks.  Brightly colored male is on right.

 

 

 

More soon!

 

Larry Reich

 

You may reach me with comments:

Laurence Reich

auburndocreich@aol.com 

 

 

 Tomorrow morning, we head back up to Machu Picchu!

 

  

For more great views of birds at Inkaterra, go to this website:

http://www.go2peru.com/peru_birds_16.htm  torrent duck

http://www.go2peru.com/peru_birds_26.htm  green and white hummingbird.

 

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