Thursday, 26 March 2009
A friend from Canada came for lunch yesterday, fresh from the deep freeze up north. As the plates were being cleared a single toucan came flying in to perch 12 feet from the table. He was a Chestnut-mandibled toucan, the largest of the three species, beautiful and large with bright yellow throat and face with a sudden red blast of colour at the tail. He perched looking at us with his sideways gentle sweep of the head: the bill is too large to let him look straight on, and then began calling for his mate. She was clearly having other ideas and called back from the other side of the house. He pondered for a moment and then took off at speed, flying right past our noses, the sound of his wings beating were loud enough. Our visitor was delighted and we followed the toucan's flight right to a large female sloth. She was hanging from two vines about 10 feet from the other side of the house. She hung there with her legs akimbo unsure which vine to take, then slowly let go of one and with a graceful movement any acrobat would be envious of, lowered her whole weight to the lower vine with one strong forearm.We stood drinking our tea, willing her to move again. At our feet one of the dogs barked and we followed her gaze to a further tree where 4 howler monkeys were snacking on leaves. Our visitor was quite taken with his lunch and afternoon show. So nice when a hope comes to fruition!