Yesterday's cooler temperatures lured me out of the house to explore the area. I was curious about the parks, conservation areas and wildlife refuges along the Illinois River.Read More
The highlight of my next day was a morning tour of the area around the lodge and of the national park from an open boat like the one shown above. I took my binoculars instead of a camera and just enjoyed traveling in the smooth waters on this quiet boat and seeing all kinds of creatures in their natural environs. Our tour guide, Angelo, was knowledgeable about the animals, environment and history of the area. Here's a partial list of what we saw as we puttered through the shaded riverways:
male three-toed sloth
howler monkeys, including moms with babies on their backs or chests, leaping between tree branches
blue morpho butterflies
adult male emerald basilisks, fighting up in a tree and the loser hanging upside down, seeming to be contemplating his next move
juvenile emerald basilisk, jumping off a log and skittering on the water's surface to the bank
As we concluded our tour and left the boat, a staff member from the lodge greeted us with chilled watermelon juice, a delightfully refreshing drink.