All text copyright  2003-2014 by Eitan Grunwald.   All photographs copyright  2003-2014 Eitan and Ron Grunwald  (except photographs by others copyright per photo credits).  All rights reserved.
AMAZON
May 2005
 7 of 11
AMAZON
May 2005
 7 of 11
We also hit the trails at night, the most magical time to be in the rainforest, when everything comes as a surprise. Sometimes we’d surprise animals asleep on the leaves . . . . . . sometimes they would surprise us.   Like this streak of red that suddenly shoots through the beam of my light, zips past my feet, and slips under a log.  “Snake!”  The others come running, surround the log, and train their spotlights on the hideout.  One, two, three . . . I flip the log, ready to grab . . . but it’s gone.  Must be a hole.  We rake the rotting wood, then a flash of red!  Ron quickly pins the disappearing tail, my fingers barely catch hold of the last remaining inch, but it’s enough.  Slowly, gently, I pull the snake out, excited to have it in hand for a close-up look. One of our biggest surprises wasn’t even seen.  In the darkness we kept hearing this loud barking call from some kind of bird or frog we couldn’t identify.  Strange and intriguing from a distance, but downright unnerving beside your bed when you’re fast asleep.  The mysterious creature would come right by our tents in the middle of the night, then blast us awake like an Amazon air horn.  Worst of all, it turns out to be  get this  a rat.  A giant, barking, earsplitting rat. Traveled four thousand miles to be yelled at by a rodent. To hear the call of a Bamboo Rat (albeit a quiet version recorded from a long distance) click here, courtesy of the British Library.  Of course, every night hike was accompanied by giant creepy-crawlers . . . . . . but the enormous size of this one came as another surprise.  Ever been intimidated by an earthworm? Sometimes we’d find herps actively on the move at night, such as these snakes in search of sleeping lizards. And just like those snakes, the only way we could catch certain speedy lizards was to surprise them while they slept, such as this pair we lifted off of tree trunks in the night.
All text copyright  Eitan Grunwald.  All photographs copyright  Eitan or Ron Grunwald  except photographs by others are copyright per photo credits.  All rights reserved.  Terms
Ornate Snail-Eating Snake Dipsas catesbyi
Common Name Scientific name
Common Forest Anole Anolis trachyderma
Amazon Scarlet Snake Pseudoboa coronata
Olive Tree Runner Tropidurus (Plica) umbra ochrocollaris
Red Vine Snake Tripanurgos compressus
Blunt-Headed Tree Snake Imantodes cenchoa
Collared Tree Runner Topidurus (Plica) plica