Photographer | Director | @eddiebauer adventure guide | Sharing stories that increase understanding and compassion for wild places and wildlife.
The rainbow boa gets its name from the unbelievable iridescence it produces across its entire body. Crystal like structures called Iridophores sit on top of the snakes scales and these overlapping Iridophores are what refract light in many directions , causing the rainbow colored iridescence you see in this picture. It works much like the surface of a bubble of soap. Octopus and squid also have Iridophores but theirs are under their skin and they can control them! The natural world never ceases to amaze me. This snake was found by @gowrivaranashi#liveyouradventure@eddiebauer
This is the first green anaconda we saw in the wild. We found it, strangely enough, through instagram when a colleague and friend of mine, @luksth , messaged to say that friends of his -@adelaindriago , @malesinha , and @jdshoobridge - posted a photo of the anaconda to instagram. @rainforestexpeditions was kind enough to give me access to the anaconda. What made this particular situation incredible is the anaconda had just eaten a small mammal, most likely an agouti , which it had hunted at a culpa or clay lick , a place in the forest all types of animals seek out for the salt deposits , a rare commodity in the wild. To add to the story this particular clay lick is only accessible via a long and shallow clear water stream , which means this anaconda had travelled some distance to reach the culpa where it knew it could find food. Very little is known about anacondas but even less is known about them in primary tropical forests. #puertomaldonado#rainforestexpeditions#snakesofinstagram#anaconda#anacondas#tambopata#liveyouradventure@eddiebauer
This turnip tailed gecko (thecadactylus solimoensis) is known amongst herpetologists and reptile fans to be quite the biter. Yet this particular one didn't bite @paulrosolie once. Quite the contrary, in fact. In the beginning this wonderful gecko tried to run - but after 3 minutes or so he or she simply sat in Paul's hand and looked around. What is it about certain people that calms animals? Heart rate? Energy? Movement? Mannerisms? We've all seen it: one person holds a bird, a snake, or greets a dog and the animal is calm . Another person does the same and the animal flips out.
There aren't words to describe the privilege of spending time with a wild animal. After all we have done to destroy and tame their quiet corners of the earth it is surprising they even allow us to be in their company. To me there is nothing on the planet comparable except for the love of family. Even two days later all I can think of is the 3 hours I spent with this beautiful 7-8 foot green anaconda. She was resting in a shallow stream next to a clay lick so she could digest a recent meal - which is most likely an agouti. I can say without hesitation that it these moments that remind me why I spend months away from home, from family, from those I love. Thanks again to @rainforestexpeditions for allowing me to spend time with the anaconda.
As far as I'm aware, frogs aren't feared like snakes. Nonetheless, it is wonderful to witness a wild animal calm in human hands , presumably aware the person means them no harm. Reptiles and amphibians are Traditionally thought to be stupid and driven by instinct ; my hope is that these images breathe some new life into the way people view them. If the images don't, then I have failed. Hands belong to @paulrosolie#peru#southamerica#puertomaldonado#infierno#liveyouradventure#amazon#jungle@eddiebauer
Today we photographed two blunt headed tree snakes. They are a common find here , and quite distinguishable with their large, cat like eyes and pencil thin bodies. One of the snakes was a gorgeous red earth color with cream colored bands (pictured) and the other was a dark grey with white bands. What struck me the most though wasn't their physical features; it was their personalities. I know it sounds crazy, but the snake pictured was quite different from the other: he or she was constantly exploring , almost curious. The other snake was content being still. This is one moment of many where i thought to myself, what is going on in that brain of yours we don't yet know. Some people say exploration is dead, I say no way. #bluntheadedtreesnake#reptilesofinstagram#snakesofinstagram#snake#amazon#jungle#peru#liveyouradventure@eddiebauer
By my count I've been in Peru for 5 weeks. In those five weeks I've visited 6 different locations where anacondas are known to live. In total we've spent just shy of 30 days in the field, as in out exploring swamps. Of those 30 days we've encountered just one anaconda in the wild. Normally the research team I'm with will find between 6 to 10 anacondas in a month long field season. The luck has not been on my side. With only ten days left here I am beginning to worry I might not photograph a single, wild anaconda. The only thing keeping me remotely sane are the smaller snakes we've been finding almost every night , like this stunningly beautiful Amazon tree boa wrapped around @paulrosolie 's hand. As has been the case in similar photos, this snake is wild. When we first found it was defensive but after a few minutes it calmed down and rested peacefully. It was as if he or she thought Paul's hand was a simply another branch. What strikes me about snakes, among many other things, is the poetry in their pose. I hope you see it too, for they need our help. #amazon#peru#jungle#snakesofinstagram#amazontreeboa#liveyouradventure@eddiebauer
This is the amount of gold produced by four men working illegally eleven hours everyday for four days here in the Western Amazon of Peru. It weighs 11 grams. We were told it would bring in roughly 1500 Peruvian soles, which is 454 US dollars. Much of that cash will goto the owner of the operation, while the rest will be split amongst the four workers. Most of the mercury that was used to bind the gold flakes found in the sand from the river bottom has been burned off , released into the air as a highly toxic gas that will eventually return to the regions water systems. The problem is so bad here that the government of Peru issued a declaration of emergency in 2017 because mercury levels in the water, people, and fish are dangerously high. And yet almost nothing is known about how the mercury is affecting wildlife. #conservation#peru#puertomaldonado#amazon#illegal#illegalmining#survival
There are two main threats to the survival of anacondas here in Peru: Loss of habitat and illegal gold mining. @paulrosolie and I spent several days with illegal gold miners on the Rio Malinowski in order to document what they are doing and to better understand why they are doing it. The reason the illegal gold mining is such a threat to anacondas is the miners use highly toxic mercury to bind the almost microscopic flakes of gold together that are found in the sand in the rivers. Once the gold flakes have bonded together, the miners burn off the mercury, which is what you see in this picture: mercury gases rising into the air. Crazy how the most toxic is also often oddly beautiful. The miners themselves wear no safety masks or eye protection. The mercury you see in this picture will eventually make its way back into the streams and rivers and then into the aquatic creatures , from the fish on up to the anacondas and crocodiles. All this destruction and human health impact for little bits of low quality gold . Is there not a better way? #puertomaldonado#amazon#peru#deforestation#mining#gold#anacondas#reptiles
This is not a wild green anaconda, it was photographed at a local reptile park run by a Peruvian biologist. That said, this beautiful snake is impossibly strong, and could easily hurt someone. But she has no interest in that, and neither do wild anacondas. Like all of us, they simply want to be left alone! As you can see in this picture she is peacefully resting her head on the palm of @paulrosolie 's hand. She stayed like this for several minutes and only moved when Paul was no longer able to support her weight. She was probably 11 feet and 80-100 pounds. Yet another feared snake that is quite the opposite of dangerous. #puertomaldonado#peru#anacondas#anaconda#reptiles#jungle#snakesofinstagram#liveyouradventure@eddiebauer