Sky King

Last summer I traveled to the Amazon with my family.

It was one of the most remote places I’ve been to.

We visited the tiny village of El Chino…

…and did some jungle trekking.  The canopy is thick, blocking out the sky.

  But the waterways open swaths through the jungle, and are perfect for skywatching.

Sometimes a tree will break free from the jungle shadows to find its place under the sun.  You can almost hear this little tree whisper, “I WIN!”

Amazon skies can go from this…

…to this,  in minutes.

We were up by starlight to go fishing one morning, and caught this sunrise on the Tahuayo River.

The clouds are stunning, and ever changing.

But this was the most amazing cloud formation I saw over the Amazon jungle.  Look closely, and tell me it doesn’t look like….

…wait for it.

…wait for it.

…wait for it.

 …wait for it.

Thank you.  Thank you very much!

All images and words copyright Naomi Baltuck

Click here for more interpretations of The Weekly Travel Theme: Sky.

Click here for more interpretation of Sunday Stills: Air.


  1. Danger came from above.

    Not aliens.
    Not birds.
    Not Soviet missiles.
    It was something far, far sinister…
    Tune in this Tuesday for

  2. Okay, you got me with that one! I was looking from behind a large buddha-shaped man sitting yoga-style, with his head tilted to the right – listening for “the word”. Or the weather report. Not sure which.

    Sent from my iPad


  3. It seems fitting that the king of rock would be holding court over the king of rivers…

    Beautiful photos!

  4. I saw a head but definitely not Elvis’! Your title reminded me of the TV program I used to watch sometimes at my grandparents when I will little. We didn’t have a TV at home so it was always fun. The show opened with the tagline: “From Out of the Clear Blue of the Western Sky Comes…Sky King.” Reading about it now, I realize that what I saw were re-runs but they were still good.


    1. “Sky King and his niece Penny….” I used to watch that on Saturday mornings when I was a kid! The title was my own private little joke, and I almost made a reference to it, but didn’t think anyone else in the world would remember that show. Thanks so much for sharing your story, and the link. Brought back some fun memories.

  5. Wonderful! We are headed there. Haven’t decided if we’ll go into the Amazon from Peru or Ecuador yet. Where did you go from?
    I must admit it was not Elvis that came to mind 🙂 though I could see the face perfectly.

    1. Hi Alison,
      I’m so excited for you. FYI, we took antimalarial medicine before going, and I think you need to start taking it a week (or was it three days?) before you get there. Anyway, you might look into that.

      We flew into Iquitos in Peru, and went on the river from there, with Amazonia Expeditions an Eco-lodge and a research station. It was not fancy, but you don’t strike me as fussy or timid travelers. Paul, the owner, books the expeditions, and tries to pair folks up with the right guide. If you go with Amazonia, ask for Orlando as your personal guide–he was amazing. I did several blogs on our trip with Amazonia, if you want to see what it looks like from the Peruvian side.

  6. We were up by, not sunrise or before sunrise but, “We were up by starlight to go fishing one morning,” STARLIGHT. I have never heard this before but it does something to me. I LOVE it.

    Thanks for another lovely tour, Naomi. Remarkable and interesting as always.

    1. We went with an eco-lodge, which is as eco-friendly as possible, using solar power and making as little impact upon the land as possible. They support a research station where studies are made to learn more about the land and the creatures that live there.
      Our guide was from El Chino, as is his brother; many of the other guides also grew up in the jungle. We tried to be good guests–when we visited El Chino, we brought books for the school, which we ordered through Amazonia and delivered on our visit. There are no shops–it’s way too small for that–but there were a few tables with handmade crafts like baskets and beads and piranha tooth necklaces, and we tried to give their economy a little boost by purchasing them as gifts for the folks back home. The villagers and the lodge seem to have a relationship that is mutually beneficial.
      Thanks so much for the visit.

    1. Yes, I did. Did you? A whole lot of people are seeing Santa Claus, but I think it might just be the season for it.
      Amazonia Expeditions has been in operation since 1981. I read a book written by the founder and owner and was impressed, not so much by the writing, but by the story. He is a Native American, and sensitive to the local people. He has made a go of it, and has done so in a careful way, leaving as little a footprint as possible, and helping the villagers, hiring locally, letting lodge guests know about ways to help local villages. For instance, we sent money, and they bought books for the school from the teacher’s wish list. His wife is jungle born, and helps him with this too. They also got as perfect a rating on Trip Advisor as I’d ever seen–five stars.
      Here’s the link:

  7. Beautiful photos, Naomi! But I was going to say “Santa”! I swear, the cloud formation looks like the man in the red suit—or maybe my son has gotten to me with the endless Christmas list. 😀

    1. Hi Jilanne,
      You would not be the only one to see Santa in this cloud formation. Amazingly enough, even my kids agreed with me on this one. They usually can’t see the resemblances that I point out to them. They are still teasing me about the time I told them a fish at the aquarium looked like Sam Gamgee.

    1. Dear Madhu,
      Every once in awhile, as we made our way down the river, there would be one little tree that had wiggled it way out of the crowd and was reaching for the sky. I loved seeing them–such determination and demonstration of the will to live.
      Thanks for the visit, and for taking the time to share your response. It’s always good to hear from you.

  8. There really is a face with an attitude in that cloud!

    How fantastic you got to visit the Amazon–it’s been a longing of mine from childhood I have never been able to fulfill.

    1. Yes! The King! Graceland in the Sky! And Yes! We must absolutely do what we can to save this unique ecosystem, and the home to so many endangered species. They are still discovering new species down there, even while some species are being driven into extinction through loss of habitat.

  9. The rock and roll King at the Amazon, brilliantly beautiful! Adventure at every turn from sunrise to sunset. I felt like I walked with you, passing through dense jungles of Palm trees, exotic plants and yes, pouring unpredictible rain.

    1. Dear Island Traveler,
      Thank you! Maybe it’s the time of year, but a lot of people are thinking this cloud looks more like Santa Claus!
      I am so glad that you could come to visit. Thank you for taking the time to share your response. It is always good to hear from you. I hope you and your family had a very merry Christmas, and I wish you a Happy New Year!

  10. The trip was an amazing blessing and thank you so much for sharing the photographs for all to see! I take photos of clouds all the time and I must agree this is definitely Elvis. I have an angel cloud, looking down at the Earth, just a head and halo in an evening sky. I also have a unicorn cloud. My grandkids now look up and are always glad to see the different shapes. It makes me think of Joni Mitchell’s song, “I looked at clouds from both sides now…”

    1. Hello! Thank you so much for the visit, and for the positive identification! I knew it was Elvis all along! I love that you cloud-watch with your grandkids, and now I have Joni Mitchell running through my head–she will sing me to sleep shortly. I hope your Christmas was merry, and that your New Year will be the best ever.

  11. Lovely to travel this far with you Naomi buoyed along by your photographic narrative p.s. I see cumulus erectus rather than Presley but it could be the same thing!

    1. Hi Sherry,
      You are absolutely right. Every time I go through my photos, it is a sweet reminder and almost a mini-trip. Thanks so much for the visit, and for taking the time to comment.

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