I call him “The Bird Man of Ocolome”.
His name is Rafael. He is Ocolome Indian from thelittle village of Ocolome, and as he sits at the rear of the boat, you soon realize you are in the presence of a treasure-house of knowledge. Like he knows every plant and bird we are encountering.
So, we are off on the Rio Fuerte early on a January morning- perfect weather in this magic place at the foot of Copper Canyon. The air is 70ish, a light breeze, and the fresh smell of the river is on us.
The group is quiet as we float…enchanted by the surroundings. The only sound is the ripple of the water as we float, the occasional splash of a paddle in the water…and the murmuring of Rafael. I realize that he is talking about the birds we are beginning to encounter- “vermilion flycatcher” he whispers and his eye is tuned into a low branch- sure enough there is a little flit of crisp red that moves, then darts to another tree. The attentive ones in the group take notice and I hear the first of 1000s of “awesome!”s.
More later with video—cranes, herons of all kinds, medicinal plants…