Fire crown

It took me a while to finally take a picture that shows why this little guy is actually called the green backed firecrown! Males can use their crown feathers as dominance and female attraction devices ;) They usually appear to be black, but when the sun hits them in the right angle, they light up in these shiny, fiery orange reflections.

firecrown

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Double rainbow

Ok, so some days ago we had this amazing rainbow in the morning….. :D

Double Rainbow Huinay

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Zombie monito del monte

Ok ok, winter is dark and rainy, so my inspiration to continue the zombie wild life series came back!

This is a little fellow that I haven’t managed to see myself in nature. They are pretty shy, rare, nocturnal, small marsupials. So chances are rather small anyway. But I imagine them being quite nasty little beasts, when turned into zombie…

zombie-monito del monte

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Dive expedition to the Guaitecas / Chonos Islands

Just recently came back from our 2 week dive expedition to the large island group south from Chiloe. This is all part of the large ongoing project of the Huinay Station to increase the knowledge about the marine benthic fauna of the Chilean Patagonia. These trips have been regularly going on for many years and I myself already had the luck to partake in three of them.
This time we went around the channels and fiords on board of a nice sail boat, the SAOIRSE (means freedom in Gaelic). Beautiful experience, with a great team and crew!!

Here is one of my favorite underwater pictures I took. Don’t ask me what type of fish it is. We were mainly focusing on invertebrates :D

HF21-Fisch

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Waking up in the sky

WOW…..

This was probably one of the coolest things I have done in a while!
Ok, so I had to take free days at some point this month… but with imminent expedition and lots to do, and waning summer, I decided to stay in Huinay and go up our “hill”. But his time I wanted to take my tent up, go past the “refugio” at 800m and stay at least one night up there, taking advantage of a couple of good days ahead.
And so I did ;)
I started afternoon Tuesday and spent a night in the refugio. Next morning I packed my gear and started the climb slowly but steadily uphill. Having left the tree limit soon, I had to decide whether to go left or right, since I didn’t want to go to the summit (again ;) ). I decided to go left, going by the little Northern lagoon.

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From there I could see the pinnacles in the back and my goal was quickly found.
On the ridge, reaching out from the summit to North-East, there are three big towering pinnacles. After a long hike with my heavy backpack, I finally came to the first of them, where I decided to stay the night.

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After I while I even found a “flat” spot to put my tent, in between little patches of frozen snow, that provided my water supply.

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From there on I just had to sit back and enjoy the wonders of nature. Like this sun set! (please view this in LARGE!!!)

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In the morning I woke up with the full moon hanging over this blanket of clouds,

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reaching all the way to volcán Osorno.

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Looking over the ridge, between the summit and the pinnacle, I could see the sun slowly rising over the far Argentinean Andes.

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And then the world was painted in orange for a while ;)

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I took me a long time to fully take everything in. The solitude, the view, the vastness, the beauty of nature… Unfortunately you would need a computer screen some thousand kilometers wide to view the pictures in a good way. But I hope to share a little of that awesomeness I was confronted with, and which made me a bit more happier inside :D

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The ulmos flowering

The ulmos (Eucryphia cordifolia) are flowering in the fiord. Such a beautiful view. Big parts of the forest have this white shadow cast over it.

ulmos

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Cachudito

Cachudito (Anairetes parulus) in front of my window yesterday morning.

cachudito

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Rio Porcelana

The river in the Porcelana valley. Right next to the hot springs that reach up to 60-70 °C. It is really refreshing to jump into this 5-10 °C river after a bath in the warm water.

rio_porcelana

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Happy Holidays!

x-mas2013

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Finally orcas!!!!

Oh yesssss!! It is finally true. After looking out of the window for year and a half and waiting for orcas, at last it happened. Yesterday afternoon Katie spotted the blow of a small group of orcas in the fjord! We followed the group of five (including 2 young ones) for a while into the sunset. What else is there to say :D

huinay_orcas

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