You know you wanna

"Baby Boa" by CB Photography on Flickr; borrowed through Creative Commons

I haven’t mentioned much about Peru lately, since my Monday Miscellany went on hiatus over the winter months. I’ve been meaning to revisit the region for a little while now, and thought it would be best to do so while we’re “enjoying” a bit of a cold snap here in Ontario. Rain and wind today, the progression of spring put on hold temporarily while Mother Nature gets the last of winter out of her system. In a week or two activity will pick up outside and I’ll have some trouble keeping up with it all.

To refresh your memory, or in case you’re a new reader, I’ve been invited to join Kolibri Expeditions on an 8-day tour of the Manu region of southeastern Peru, and I’d love for you to join me! The trip will act as a fundraiser to help local communities in developing ecotourism into a viable source of income, which will in turn contribute to conservation of the region as the residents will be less dependent on ecologically-destructive income-earners. You can read a little more about the reasons for the tour at my post from November.

"Moths eating minerals from the mud" by Sarah_and_Iain on Flickr; borrowed through Creative Commons

Technically the trip is a birding tour. Although Kolibri does make an effort to include other notable regional interests, such as trips to Machu Picchu, or viewing stops at mammal salt-licks, their focus is primarily on birds. Most of their clients come for the birds, and enjoy the scenery along the way. So you’ll be seeing a lot of birds if you come along.

But you’ll also be traveling with me. I have a rather sneaky suspicion that the pace of the trip is going to be somewhat slowed as I pause to check out this bug, or this frog, or this plant, or this flower, or this fungus, or this… well, you get the idea. I’m not going to have a clue what any of them are, of course. But that won’t stop me from appreciating the incredible diversity that the tropics offers.

Like the lepidopterans above. Those are moths. Yup, moths. Pretty amazing, huh? They’re Green-banded Urania, Urania leilus, diurnal species that are often found sipping minerals from mud or dung.

"butterfly" by kaitlyn_rose on Flickr; borrowed through Creative Commons

More fabulous colours. This one is actually a butterfly. Periander Metalmark, Rhetus periander.

"Leafhopper" by cordyceps on Flickr; borrowed through Creative Commons

Or what about this leafhopper? One of the commenters on the photo ID’d it as Membracis foliata.

"Ra" by cordyceps on Flickr; borrowed through Creative Commons

Or this planthopper. Another commenter suggested family Derbidae.

"Amblypygia" by cordyceps on Flickr; borrowed through Creative Commons

Fans of Harry Potter will recognize this guy as the creepy critter used in the fourth movie to demonstrate the Unforgivable Curses. Also called tailless whip scorpion.

"Frosch" by sprain on Flickr; borrowed through Creative Commons

How about this pointy yellow-green frog?

"Frog on a bog - Manu Park Reserve rainforest " by baronvonhorne on Flickr; borrowed through Creative Commons

Or this one wearing racing stripes?

"Vorsicht, Zähne!" by sprain on Flickr; borrowed through Creative Commons

Maybe fish are more your thing? Yes, that’s a piranha.

"Common Squirrel Monkey" by Jyrki Hokkanen on Picasa; borrowed through Creative Commons

Mammals, and particular monkeys, should be easily seen. Or at least heard. Common Squirrel Monkey.

"bats" by kaitlyn_rose on Flickr; borrowed through Creative Commons

Maybe we’ll even have bats roosting in the eaves of our accommodations.

Moth, probably Idalus herois, taken in Columbia by my friend and moth-guide-coauthor, but wide-ranging. Borrowed without permission. Hope he'll forgive me.

You can bet your boots I’ll be doing some nighttime moth-hunting.

"Fleur autour du lodge" by Veronique Debord on Flickr; borrowed through Creative Commons

Interesting plants will receive a closer look.

"pretty waterfall" by kaitlyn_rose on Flickr; borrowed through Creative Commons

And don’t forget the gorgeous scenery.

Bottom line: there’ll be something for everyone, and because you’ll be on my trip, you can be pretty sure we’ll be pausing to look at most of it.

(All the photos in this post, by the way, with the exception of the white-and-yellow moth, were taken in the region we’ll be visiting.)

My departure is November 12, 2010 through Nov 19 (originally scheduled for Nov 13 but moved back a day to accommodate another tour that wanted to depart Nov 20). The cost is $1680 per person (or $1580 if you’re a blogger with an active blog); this covers everything but your personal expenses such as souvenirs and airfare from your local international airport to Lima. It’s a pretty incredible deal for a guided tour, with all the organization taken care of for you and somebody who knows a thing or two about the area to help you with ID. And don’t forget you’ll be getting to go with me! You can read more here about what your fee covers.

"Golden Tanager "Tangara arthus"" by dermoidhome on Flickr; borrowed through Creative Commons

Gunnar, owner and organizer extraordinaire of Kolibri, suggests putting your name down even if you’re not sure if you’ll go or not yet. You’re not locked in to anything until you’ve sent in a deposit, which you don’t have to do right away. However, signing up for the trip now confirms the departure date on their booking system and makes it more attractive to other potential participants who are looking for a trip with Kolibri. And the more people who come, the cheaper it is for each. Which means this has the potential to benefit you.

So if you’re considering going, even in a “well, it would be nice, but I don’t know what my money will be like, and there’s always the dog, and Susan’s due to have her baby about then, but I’ll think about it” kind of way, send me an email (canadianowlet [at] gmail [dot] com) or leave a comment to let me know, just so we can get you down as a potential participant and make sure the trip’s locked in. You can always back out later if you need to.

Meanwhile, you can go back and read my previous posts here, here and here, with more delicious photos to whet your appetite… :)


Author: Seabrooke

Author of Peterson Field Guide to Moths. #WriteOnCon Mastermind. Writer of action/thriller SF/F YA. Story junkie. Nature nut. Tea addict. Mother. Finding happiness in the little things. Twitter: @SeabrookeN / @SeabrookeLeckie

11 thoughts on “You know you wanna”

  1. Wish I could join you! I went to Peru in 2000 and would go again in a hearbeat! Like you, I was often dragging behind as I snapped photos of this plant or that insect. Fortunately, I was with a group of naturalists, so everyone understood (even the ones who were there mostly for the birds). I kept hoping for bats, but we only saw some twice: first scooping drinks from the surface of the river at night, and second, my personal favorite, flying back and forth in the pit below the seat(s) of the outhouse! I dashed out to get some of the others to come see (“there’s bats in the john!”), but by the time they all got there and clustered around the seat, the bats had all gone.

  2. Yep, I’m thinking about it. Definitely thinking about it. Your chosen photos have made a much bigger impact on my interest than the Lonely Planet guide we bought in January.

    1. Well, I sure hope it works out that you can come, LB! I haven’t ever looked at the Lonely Planet guides, so I don’t really know what’s in them. I found this PBS video about the Manu rainforests on It might be something you could get through your library on an interlibrary loan, if they do that. (I tried to see if it was available streaming online, but couldn’t find anything.)

  3. How I adore South America. Love the Urania moths – I got one in Ecuador many years ago, and it has helped teach countless schoolchildren the difference between moths and butterflies.

    The “leafhopper” (Membracis foliata) is actually a treehopper (family Membracidae). Almost the entire bug (and it is, in this case, correct to call it a bug) consists of the tremendously expanded pronotum (segment behind the head).

    I’ve been to Ecuador, Argentina (too many times to count), Brazil (almost as many times as Argentina), and Uruguay – I’ve never been to Peru, and I really wish I could join this trip, but it’s just not in the cards.

    1. That’s too bad, Ted, it would have been fabulous to have you along – not least for your incredible knowledge of things. Thanks for the correction on the treehopper! Beyond knowing that it’s an insect, I get pretty lost with these groups. :)

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