Kerry Underwood

Archive for January 2015


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The name gives it away. It rains and it is a forest. Forests are hardly interesting, wet ones are even less attractive.

I am at the end of a lengthy trip to Central America, which has lots of rain forests. During a long, wet early-morning walk the average bag is some leaf-cutter ants and the apparent distant call of an unspecified bird. I say “apparent” because guides now have apps containing all the local bird calls. That exciting – by rain forest standards – exchange of calls between birds is in fact usually an exchange between the mobile phones of guides. You never actually SEE anything.

Well we did see a black-bellied wren – sort of. Wrens are the most secretive of birds and when a wren’s defining feature is its dark front you do not actually see much.

Try explaining to El Guido the concept of the dawn chorus – hundreds of birds singing every morning in any British garden and you are met with a vacant stare and a quick mobile phone blast of some local endemic, but invisible, speciality.

Then there is the canopy walk, the sole attraction of which is that you are above, and therefore OUT OF, the rain forest.

Cloud forests are arguably even worse. True, it is not constantly raining; rather it is drizzling. Unsurprisingly cloud forests are in cloud, so visibility is almost nil. Given that there is nothing to see anyway, that is not a disadvantage. The problem is that cloud forests are high up, so they are cold as well as wet and uninteresting.

I am sure that rain and cloud forests are important and we need them. Just like dentists. Visits to the dentist are cheaper, more interesting and generally more enjoyable.

Must go- time for that exciting variation on a forest walk: the Night Walk – who knows – might see a pair of owl’s eyes……

Written by kerryunderwood

January 30, 2015 at 12:35 pm

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Written by kerryunderwood

January 16, 2015 at 11:21 am

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