Panama 🇵🇦 : Foliage, Birds & Cane Toads

Fascination with the ever changing nature of plant life in the jungle drives me to capture their images, both for their unique beauty and for the display of time passing in a thriving — at times seemingly writhing — biome. From the deep green of aliveness, passing through colour changes, blight & insect damage, we find even the skeletal remains of a vanishing leaf, a most poignant occurrence. With these changes happening all at the same time, in this moment, we are witness to the ever transforming nature of jungle life. Echoing the passing of time for all forms of life on earth, the jungle demonstrates for us the very subjective nature of time.

The beauty and plenitude of bird life in Panama is astonishing and impressive, even for a bird neophyte such as myself. My partner Aaron, long time birder & photographer, can be thanked for the multitude of images and naming of the birds to be viewed here. These are just a sampling; many more species of birds are to be found in Panama.

The creature above, the Crested Guan, would fly into the treetops near our rural home just outside of Volcán, Panama, to sing a squawking song to its mate each evening. A shy bird about the size of a turkey, Aaron tells me it is at risk due to being hunted by humans and used for food.

Below are two varieties of Cane Toad which we encountered in the Volcán area. This toad has sacks of toxin behind the eyes, which they emit when threatened. It is a highly toxic poison which can and does kill other wildlife, pets and humans if ingested. Both times we met up with these toads our enormous Rhodesian Ridgeback was with us and we quickly leashed him to avoid a scary or even fatal incident. The toad on the right frightened the daylights out of me when I was taking the dog out for his final pee of the day. This creature sat immobile on the doorstep, staring stubbornly, apparently not alarmed by our presence, unbudging. I’ve read that the toad feeds on insects which are attracted by light, so it was likely simply innocently seeking its dinner when our outdoor light came on to attract the insects. Nonetheless, it was an unsettling encounter.

3 thoughts on “Panama 🇵🇦 : Foliage, Birds & Cane Toads

  1. The things you two see, and how you see them!! I find the image of the rocks being seen through the skeletal leaf at the top beautiful and interesting. I believe it was the first time for me to really stop to the expression “scaring the daylight out of you”, and find it very colourful : )
    Thanks for sharing this other part of your travels; I really enjoy reading you xox


  2. Hi again,
    Can never get over the colourful plumage of tropical birds. The scarlet rumpled tanager looks a lot like our red winged blackbird.
    Did we ever tell you that Oliver’s DNA test showed that he has a high level of Rhodesian Ridgeback in him. We don’t see it! Of course, the same test showed that he Dachshund in him as well. For those wondering, Oliver is our 80 pound Black Lab like dog who was looked after by Kath and Aaron. Maybe if we have a redo we’ll find he has house cat in him as well!

    Peter and Mary Lynne


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