This sunset might look like a painters' interpretation, but in fact it looked like this. The South East is enduring drought conditions, we had no clouds or rain, yet this evening this sunset favored us for a few minutes.
The brown and white pony on the left seemed to lead the other horses. They have largish tummies from eating salty sea grass, the salt retaining the water. Once the females have babies the tummy stays as it is.
Taking a boat around the island heading north brought us to views of the feral Chincoteague ponies. Once a year "saltwater cowboys"-the local firemen, herd the ponies across the channel where the pack is culled. In this case that means selling ponies to people who will love them. The island herd is kept to 150 individuals. The proceeds of the sale go into maintaining the herd.
Early morning in Chincoteague Great and Snowy Egrets with juvenile Ibis fly up while feeding, . I know this is out of focus, hopefully I will, some day soon, present one in focus. In the mean timer I cannnot resist the light on the birds and water droplets.
Morning feeding time for the Great Egrets and their fellows. The birds were out in the pond. This was my first try at fluttering birds. I wish I understood the behavior, but love the majestic white birds in silhouette.
The tiny and beautiful Sika deer cross the pond in Chincoteague at dawn. Frost lies on the little islands. These beautiful deer were originally from Japan. My friend told me boy scouts brought them to Chincoteague in the 1920's.
A Mid November morning in Chincoteague brought a group of Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets and juvenile White Ibis to a little neck of water. For some reason they were all there this morning. Next morning they were further out.
The Reserva Ecologica da Guapiacu (REGUA) is a not for profit reserve focused on re-foresting the Atlantic Rainforest. It is a lovely spot with devoted people. This was taken from a tower built for viewing the surrounding country side. The mountains were often shrouded in mist or ominous purple and gray clouds. In the mornings flocks of egrets flew past in large numbers.
For the time we stayed at the Posada Currupira d'Aras (Harpy Eagle Lodge) I could smell smoke and was finally told there was a fire in the forest on the mountain across the valley from where we were. The fire was allowed to burn itself down the mountain. There appeared to be no local anxiety about it.
It is so dry during the Pantanal winter that the cowboys or pantaneiros have to move their herds to water. The ranchers create man made water holes to contain enough water to get through the dry season. The cows, , originally from India, are Nelore and are adapted to the dry hard country. They look very skinny and small but that is an adaptation that helps them survive the climate. The fazendas keep a few Holstein type cows for milk and cheese. The Pantanieros themselves still project the romance of our Wild West cowboys.
Each morning we set out in small boats to look for wildlife. The camera I had planned on using for this trip fell and broke the first night in Brazil. It was stuck at F/7.1 and ISO 800, which seemed to work perfectly for dawn and dusk views on the water.
Horses corraled at dawn, with a thatched cabin and antique wagon. The horses are the "Pantaneiro" breed, adapted to the hot and humid lowlands. Originating with the Iberian horses brought to the first fazendas during the colonial period, these horses are unique through natural selection.
During daylight these waters are alive with the creatures that make their living on the water. At dusk everything goes quiet and the river turns to glass, the trees become lacy silhouettes against the sky and reflections in the water.