Journey of the Pink Dolphins: An Amazon Quest

Journey of the Pink Dolphins: An Amazon Quest

Sy Montgomery

Language: English

Pages: 253

ISBN: 1603580603

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

By the acclaimed author of The Soul of an Octopus and the bestselling memoir The Good Good Pig.

When Sy Montgomery ventured into the Amazon to unlock the mysteries of the littleknown pink dolphins, she found ancient whales that plied the Amazon River at dawn and dusk, swam through treetops in flooded forests, and performed underwater ballets with their flexible bodies. But she soon found out that to know the botos, as the dolphins are locally called, you must also know the people who live among them.

And so in Journey of the Pink Dolphins, Montgomery―part naturalist, part poet, part Indiana Jones―winds her way through watery tributaries and riverside villages, searching for botos and hearing the tales of locals who believe these ethereal dolphins are shape-shifters―creatures that emerge from the water as splendidly dressed men or women only to enchant their human onlookers, capture their souls, and then carry them away to the Encante, an underwater world. Montgomery takes readers on four separate journeys, exploring the river-dwelling dolphins’ natural history, chronicling their conservation pressures, unraveling their prehistoric roots, and visiting with shamans who delve into the Encante.

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spot is too shady, it can move to a better location by building more stem, growing in front and dying behind. If the spot becomes too dry, it can drop new roots to the ground. And unlike most epiphytes, many philodendrons do not die if they drop to the ground. They simply begin their climb upward all over again, to perch harmlessly on the host tree without robbing its nutrients. As I climbed, I willed myself the strength of a philodendron. Up I climbed, past snails clinging to the undersides of

vacation.” But Moises saw a forest in an utterly different way. He had grown up with the Indians along the Napo River, one of the Amazon’s tributaries arising from Ecuador and flowing into Peru. He pointed to a vine with reddish bark, as thick around as an anaconda. “This guy,” he said, “he give you good survival water when you are lost in the jungle.” He whacked it with his machete, and hoisted the severed stem over our heads so its cool, fresh water poured into our mouths. He shoved the

happened. They knew what was at stake: their entire universe was, at that moment, at risk of flying apart. Suddenly, the vulnerability and perfection of that egg nearly made me weep. Frances Hodgson Burnett has written of the “immense, tender, terrible, heart-breaking beauty and solemnity of Eggs.” In The Secret Garden, Burnett wrote: “If there had been one person in that garden who had not known through all his or her innermost being that if an Egg were taken away or hurt the whole world would

conditioner she had bought in Santarém, I swallowed six aspirin to increase my blood flow. But on that day, the dolphins did not approach us. We saw them in the distance—perhaps five in all, fifteen yards or so away—but they did not come near. I wondered if our previous luck was merely a fluke. The following morning, when we went out to the point, Isabelle stayed in town. She is fairer than I, and our previous outing had given her a searing sunburn, which she was treating with one of her many

Keila had been terrified that the two adult dolphins would attack us while we tried to disentangle the baby. Gilberto and his father were afraid that somehow the Brazilian environmental police, IBAMA, would find us with a dolphin in our net and arrest us all. And Dianne, though seeming cool and poised, was worried, too: she was afraid that she would miss the shot. But she didn’t. I collapse with emotion—the thrill of holding the baby, the terror that it might be injured, the guilt that had a

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