H o w l s   O f   A   T r o p i c a l   N i g h t

I’d been prepared for the virgin rainforest to be different from the fragments surrounded by ranchland I’d been reading about in all the research papers and articles, but I’d not expected it to look, feel and even smell so very different. I’m here at “Camp 41”—41 kilometers off the paved road north from Manaus to Venezuela—a small but permanent logistics station for researchers from the Smithsonian and Brazil’s INPA (the National Institute for Research in Amazonia).

In the total darkness, I’d been wakened about half an hour after midnight by a truly strange sound: it was like a woodpecker on steroids, or a howling wind amplified by a jackhammer and played through the biggest and best rock concert sound system available. It modulated up and down taking about 40 seconds each cycle, from a low roar to a tremulous higher quaver, drowning out the insects, frogs and other night sounds of the forest.

Geoff’s Journals Howls Of A Tropical Night    1     2     3