Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I Like Big Buttresses (and I cannot lie)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

While walking a trail at Tikal, in Guatemala, our birding group encountered a GIANT set of buttress roots from a tree that was so tall we could not see its crown through the canopy. Here are Liz, Terry, and Sharon linking hands to show the scale of this huge tree.

On prior visits to Tikal I've always enjoyed communing with an old forest creature I call the Tarantula Tree. It's a huge ceiba tree, right along the main entrance path on the right as you walk in and it is ginormous enough that only the most oblivious of turistas miss it.

Two years ago I photographed a plumbeous kite in its upper branches. Last year I posed at the tree's base with fellow birder Jeff Gordon.

BT3 and Jeff Gordon showing both some scale and some legs at the base of the Tarantula Tree.

Why is it called the Tarantula Tree? Well, check out its bromeliad-covered branches. To me they look like giant tarantula legs reaching for the sun. Then again, the night before I coined that name for this tree, I encountered a large (six inches across) tarantula on the way back to my cabin.

The Tarantula Tree's uppermost portion.


On March 18, 2008 at 7:11 PM Phoebe said...

Touche, Sir Blogzalot!

On March 18, 2008 at 7:38 PM NatureWoman said...

Ohhh, very cool trees Bill!

On March 18, 2008 at 7:57 PM Anonymous said...

I vote this your funniest blogpost title EVER!

: >

On March 18, 2008 at 8:22 PM mon@rch said...

I agree with Anonymous that:


On March 18, 2008 at 10:04 PM Mary said...

A post title with BOTB flair :o) Love it. Enjoyed the trees, too.

On March 18, 2008 at 10:52 PM Anonymous said...

Hey Bill, I too have stood beside the "tarantula" tree there in Tikal, I too could not resist its big beautiful buttresses. - Ben Warner

On March 19, 2008 at 6:34 AM Jayne said...

WOW! Now THAT'S a tree!

On March 19, 2008 at 10:37 AM Rondeau Ric said...

You like big butts?
Pretty personal stuff there BOTB

On March 19, 2008 at 4:02 PM Anonymous said...

Maybe he likes butt tresses.

On March 19, 2008 at 11:22 PM Mel said...

Amazing trees!

On March 21, 2008 at 11:21 PM Daniel said...

Ive seen those gigantic trees...its wonderful just to gaze upon them.

I tagged you for a 6 word meme describing your inner birder, good birding!