Sunset in the Pantanal is a bit special, caimans in the pond and egrets and ibises settling down to roost in for the evening, long before the sun has slipped below the horizon.
As this was the first sunset in the Mato Grosso wetland and we enjoyed it sipping aperol spritzers it seemed especially enjoyable.
We also shared it with Zico, the resident caiman, who was obviously a sun worshipper.
We were staying as guests of the Araras ecolodge, with owner Andre explaining his philosophy, vision and some of the projects the lodge is involved with and has planned for the future.
Talking of vision, how far do you plan ahead? Do you set goals a month, six months or even a year in advance?
How about more than 20 years?
When Andre first arrived here, the large tree featured in many of the images wasn’t here when he first arrived. He decided to change that, and planted a sapling, hoping one day it would become a focal point of sunsets at his lodge.
Apparently four years ago the first snowy egrets, ibises and herons began to appear.
Today, many, many dozens of birds settle down in the branches, arriving long before the sun has dropped below the horizon. Most fly in from miles around, and despite some noisy squabbling, they are generally well mannered, every bird able to find a suitable branch.
It’s hard not to be impressed by the vision necessary to take a tiny sapling and plant it in a featureless wetland, next to a small pond.
Even Andre probably couldn’t have envisaged how successful his little tree would become, the favoured roosting post of the Mato Grosso Pantanal.
It’s certainly a suitable focal point for the lodge and the perfect spot for sipping sundowners at the end of each day.