Here be Dragons

42117615722_c9b8f4a546_k

As we approached Komodo island a large cloud loomed over the peaks creating a layer of shadows across the bare savannah terrain. It’s interesting how dry the climate is on Komodo, Rinca, and Padar in comparison to the adjacent tropical wet rainforests of Labuan Bajo and Sumbawa. On Komodo it’s a constant struggle for the lone palms and sparse vegetation to survive in the dry heat. Most of the plant life lies in the lowlands, along the coast, and within mountain crevices where water flows down during the rains.

28291311078_927871eebc_k.jpg
41263142055_303072f835_k.jpg

Nearer to the island the peaks seemed less ominous. The black shadows receded to uncover a mixed bright yellow and green savannah. Though dry, the coastal forest seemed lush from a distance, and we excitedly scanned the island for any wandering komodos.

41257549905_3bb6f06fe3_k
A closer glimpse of the terrain of Komodo island
41257544475_3b85af9bfb_k
Komodo island, a “little planet”
41263137055_f8657fb1ab_k.jpg
41263132595_8e909a1e42_k.jpg
28291301288_7b432e30aa_k.jpg
41443207214_4c4ca6792c_k.jpg
First footage of Komodo dragons
41263129075_052e781878_k.jpg
41443199384_3ed4253048_k.jpg

Our first dragon was a spotted juvenile running around the tops of houses (post + video coming soon). Actually it was just above the green tarp in the picture above! Just a minute later an adult male komodo made its way right in front of us. He dragged his knuckles and moved his tail in a dinosaurian way, lumbering slowly while flickering his pale pink tongue repetitively. These giant lizards earned the island the maritime phrase “Here be dragons” — a caution for westerners voyaging to the island.

27271959697_7c773e32a3_k.jpg
“Here be dragons”; all dragons in this post photographed in situ [1]
41074022854_cb86372faa_k
Another massive male, lying along the coastline with a Wallacean drongo (Dicrurus densus) flying overhead

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
close-alt close collapse comment ellipsis expand gallery heart lock menu next pinned previous reply search share star