Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Travel Journal: Puerto Vallarta January 2015: Walk up the river

Continuing with my out of order/by topic rather than chronological events journaling...
(And those wishing they could take a tropical vacation may find this post to be the next best thing as I will be taking a walk where you can easily join me in your imagination.)

Birds and bugs, flowers and scenery will be the subject of this entry.
Each morning this pretty bird was perching on the palm near our balcony.
Pretty little thing and I think it was the one making a pretty chirping song for us too.

I only saw this and one other kind of butterfly fluttering about down there.
This was the only one who stayed still long enough for a photograph to be taken.

Each evening our balcony porch lights would be turned on and this gecko would scamper out from somewhere to hunt bugs attracted to light.

On our second full day in Puerto Vallarta Bernie headed out to play golf.
I headed out to explore the Nayarit River at the end of the resort property.
I walked to the river on the beach, stopping to admire the pink rocks that edged the property.

The rustic stonework walls were made from stones that were naturally colorful.

Mysterious tracings laced delicate patterns over the undisturbed sand.

Less mysterious bird tracks recorded the comings and goings of various sized birds.

Once I passed the edge of the resort property the beach was no longer raked.
The flotsam and jettsom that washed up with each tide remained to mark the high tide water line.
Totally non mysterious human tracks can also be observed.

Pelicans were enjoying the surf; I watched in amazement as sometimes they would line up, turn their faces towards the beach and then ride an incoming wave as a group for a while.
I didn't know pelicans surfed!
And darn it, they never did it while I had my camera ready either!

Puerto Vallarta is in a C shoreline shape, so the surrounding mountains can be seen across the water.
The air was a bit hazy; later we learned a volcano had erupted elsewhere in Mexico and this was probably the cause of the slight haze in the morning.

At the river's mouth I left the ocean shoreline and began walking up the river shoreline.
I did not hike alone...birds likewise were at the river's edge.

The tidal flow water levels showed on the banks of the river.

Pelicans and fishermen both worked to get their morning meals.
Some pelicans rested.

Some fishermen were on boats out at sea.

Some shoreline fishermen were taking their morning breaks as well.

Any boat that reliably floats is good enough to fish from.

A fisherman's "office" space/break room.

Some fishermen were using fishing rods; others were net fishing from the shore.

The edge of the net was trimmed with lead weights that caused the net to unfurl then settle into the water open.

The shorebirds eagerly waited to see what each throw might catch.

A few fish caught...

Bait or dinner?
Don't know.
Pretty things though.

The opposite side the river was pure jungle.
I wished I had a small kayak to use to explore over there.

Done with his morning fishing, the fisherman hopped on his motorcycle and zoomed away up the river.

Three kinds of birds each intently watching the water.

I zoomed in on each one.

Yellow eyes and feet: Nice!

The blue heron (?) had left very quickly with a very offended sounding "AWKKK!"
He landed just a few yards down river where he glared at me.
The white egret had a lot more patience with me, but eventually took wing as well.

OK...how dreamy is this photo???

And this one...

And this one?

I think I could have taken several hundred shots of these birds.

They kept moving downstream on me, only willing to pose when I stayed my distance.
 I pushed on up the river, leaving them to their own society.

I was focusing on flowers at this point.

I had no guide book to allow me to know the flowers by name.

Sometimes flower buds are even more interesting than the blossoms.

The dirt road had a few muddy spots that I navigated through.

There are condos, part of the resort complex,  just above the road.

And apparently there are the occasional crocodile to watch for.
I didn't see any myself.

I did see these menace.
I saw one once in my garden in Houston and learned by a bit of research that they sting (sometimes seriously enough to require medical attention) and eventually become a rather ordinary small black moth.
They are called Saddleback Caterpillar, or Acharia stimulea

Colorful but a bit creepy too.

Flora at various stages...even pods have graceful beauty sometimes.

Some bushes had thorns that would definitely discourage exploring contact.

Pods, buds and flowers all at the same time.

Another hostile looking plant.

The flowers are gently looking though.

The river took a bend...a very peaceful slow moving river it was.

This was a shocker to me.
I have seen several varieties of Passion Flowers in life and most are a fairly large sized flower.
Most have been big enough to cover the palm of my hand.

This must have been a dwarf variety!
So cute!

I had never noticed what a Passion Flower bud looked like before.
The little one I saw was blooming next to buds that looked like this.

I have travelled through Mexico and this view was so typical of all the unpaved roads I have seen in the country.

I have no idea if this is a pod or a fruit or a bud as it was hanging in some thorny bramble.
Interesting looking isn't it?

Another shot that I really like.
The orderly seeds in the long pod are beautiful to me.

This flower seemed to have no middle.
Almost looked like just a random collection of small petals.

A single bird singing up high against a pretty sky.
(I find on walks/hikes it pays to look up, look down, look right, look left, look ahead and look behind or else I miss seeing something wonderful!)

A net fisherman with a boat...

And another net fisherman with presumably less wealth: no boat.
The orange blur was a passing butterfly.

The tree commonly known as a Tourist tree due to its bark's tendency to peel like a bad sunburn.

Sunlight seen though the peels made them look on fire.

Once I got to this wash out I decided to turn back.
I had walked with my 65mm lens, I switched to my 55-250 mm zoom lens for the walk back.
(It was getting warmer, I had been walking for about an hour and I regretted not using the zoom first as the heavier lens on my camera slung around my neck now seemed punishingly heavy. I had carried the larger lens in my pocket earlier.)

Flame orange blossoms against a blue sky is so pretty.

Another Passion Flower bud, this time it is red.

How painting is done...

Various pretties...scroll through....


I had been passed by a guy on this bike earlier.
Colorful bike...
The smell of pot was wafting through the air here.

Pot break time I guess.

The sap flowed on this tree and looked like jewels in the sunshine.

I somehow had missed seeing ALL the weird saddlebacks.

The little white eyes are actually their posterior.

Creeped out yet?

Beautifully creepy.

More net casting....

Back to where I began.

"YOU again???"


"Go AWAY!"

Egret is wary but willing to stay for a bit.

A black grackle hanging out with the shore bird crowd.

This bird was fine with me getting closer.

Love those yellow legs that match his yellow eyes.

Egrets are just photogenic all the time.

"Enough already!"

"I don't have to put up with you!"

Isn't that bill enormous compared to his head?
(I wasn't sure if I should say "beak" or "bill".
Turns out, according to one site, wading birds always have bills, as do hummingbirds, pigeons and wading birds.
Beaks are on birds of prey.)
Just doesn't move around much....

Oooohhh...love that red eye!

Still staring...

Scroll through...I liked all these shots.

This little one seemed to only have one leg.
Then I thought it had just part of a leg.
Then it finally dropped the other leg and ran.

Not a lot of shells on the shore but this was nice.

Another shot I like a lot.
The red legs in all those neutral colors appeals to me.

This really large bird seemed to own this bit of turf.

He stood there for the longest time.

He almost seemed old or injured or something.

After I observed him for about five minutes (a long time for bird observation) he sauntered away, heading away from the water, while keeping an eye on me.

Seen from the front I wondered if he was ill or if that was just how these birds look?

I wonder if he would go into the resort property.
He stopped just short of the greenery.

A few days later I would come back to this exact area at low tide when this became a sand island covered with hundreds of birds.

Another oh so long bill!

This couple were watching the surfing pelicans.
I thought it was cute how they were holding hands.
Seems like all the old couples walking on the beach held hands.
I know Bernie and I always did too.

I enjoy textures created by wind and water.

Heading back on the beach.
The sand was reddish when wet due to being so close to the river.

We were staying on the 4th floor of one of these two tone buildings.
(Must ask Bernie if he can figure out which one was our building.)

It was past lunch time when I got back to the resort.

Lizard for lunch didn't appeal to me but I was glad that this bird was enjoying his meal!
Journal to be continued!