Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Orchids and bromeliads, awesome plants on an Amazon Cruise

Amazon Cruise, June 2014

The most surprising find to me were the orchids.

I knew that orchids come from the jungle...but yeah, didn't expect we would actually see them. In the rainy season they are easier to spot. This one above was not too hard.

But would you have noticed this one

from back here?

which really you have to spot from back here!  Our crew were great-I am always so impressed with naturalists-they have to be able to spot the interesting thing in a sea of details. Then be able to point it out to the tourists (see the branch going left about half way up the tree?  Now look out at the end of the branch and up a little....)

huh, in there is the purple orchid.

Yup, that's a bird nest.  Complete with eggs! (yes, not a plant, but we saw it on the same trip with the orchids...)

This nut is a relative of brazil nuts, though these are not edible, but it is fun to pull out the parts like a puzzle and put back together. 

when the nut has fallen out.  These are one of the only trees that can handle being under water for months at a time so they are plentiful on the banks.

Bromeliads grow opportunistically in crevices of trees

They are so funky looking I just kept snapping photos

Crazy busy flowers

Did I mention it was the rainy season?

Our crew also found the giant water lilies that are famous here in the Amazon.  They are harder to find in the rainy season because the stem is anchored in the mud and only goes about 6 ft up.  The flowers start white, capture insects, turn pink, and die after 3 days

All the near ones are disintegrating while the good looking ones are in the back.  Here is a better picture from our previous cruise.

And don't forget the awesome bananas!

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