The Wet Season in the Brazilian Tropical Rainforest.

The wet season starts at the end of November and continues until May. Rain usually falls in the morning, light showers that cool the air, but quite often a great storm will rage through the forest, lasting for hours.
During the storms, walls of heavy rain move across the forest, saturating everything in their path. Thunder crashes above with such force the ground trembles. The noise must be the loudest natural sound on earth. Despite being warned by lightening of the impending boom and rumble, it always made me jump.
High winds bend and shake the trees and leaves, twigs and branches are thrown through the air. The lodge verandah, when finally the storm ends, is covered with broken twigs, leaves, battered insects and other bits of natures debris. The wooden boards shone as if freshly varnished. The grass roof, rearranged by the storm, let in rays of sunlight………
The rains change the views from the lodge dramatically. Gone are the vast meadows of grasses and wild flowers. Instead stretching to the river mouth is now gleaming, deep water. Deep enough for the dolphins to swim and breed in, deep enough for the caiman and deep enough for the return of lunch. No longer do we have to eat dried up, smelly carcasses, instead the dish is plump and tasty.
The rain is welcome, bringing with it fresh water, food and enough water to row the canoes from shore to shore, so much nicer than slurping through the thick, clinging, river bed, mud.
The wet season is back, all is well in the forest.

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These photos were taken from the same point. During the wet season the river is deep and full. Boto and Grey Bottle-nosed Dolphins swim and jump and breed…Caiman stalk the shores…Anaconda slide through the reeds.

Come the dry season and the view changes dramatically…the river disappears leaving shallow pools, tiny streams and beds of thick, sucking mud as far as the river mouth. Fishes are easily caught by flocks of Herons and Egrets. Kingfishers find easy meals. Dry, shrivelled carcasses of animals lay on the shores to be picked over by Black Vultures.

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