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. Dear Lesley,
      Thank you! Made me smile. So glad you could stop by.

  1. How wonderful. Special place with extra-special memories

    1. HI Richard,
      Thanks for stopping by! Happy Hanukkah to you and the family!

  2. Beatrice Garrard says:

    Danger came from above.

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

    1. Hah! A living witness to corroborate this sighting!

  3. Carol says:

    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


  4. elisaruland says:

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

    Beautiful photos!

    1. Thank you, Elisa! So good to hear from you. A perfect addition to my River Rock collection!

  5. Letizia says:

    I love the serpentine view of the Amazon river- what a great shot. And the cute romantic photo as well!

    1. Hi Letizia,
      That overview of the river gives you an idea of how vast and remote the Amazon is. Thanks so much for the visit, and for sharing your thoughts.

  6. 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.

  7. Millie Ho says:

    I love this post, Naomi! Patience is a virtue.

  8. Ooooh, did he really get that chubby in the face, Naomi? I thought Santa! Super post my dear, especially with those other Amazon skies 🙂

    1. Hi Meredtih,
      The hairline was what convinced me. Thanks so much for stopping by, and making me smile. Hope you are well!

  9. Alison says:

    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.

      1. Alison says:

        Thank you so much – lots of good info!

  10. 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. Thank you, Tess. I really appreciate hearing what you said about language choice, especially as it is coming from a fine writer whose work I respect.

      1. You are soooo welcome and thank YOU, Naomi. I like when a set of words stands out. Your sentence grabbed me. Lovely.

  11. Elyse says:

    Can I please trade lives with you?

    1. Dear Elyse, you crack me up!

  12. Peter S says:

    It’s nice to see that tourism is welcomed in that area, hopefully that will help to preserve it!

    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.

  13. scillagrace says:

    Elvis/Santa/Zeus…the Sky King has many names. 😉

    1. Right you are, Scilla!

  14. pattisj says:

    It’s a face, for sure. What a lovely trip.

  15. Sue says:

    Hahaha I was going to say Hercules or Zeus! Same thing- right??

    1. Hi Sue,
      That’s actually a pretty good answer, although Santa Claus is ahead by a nose!
      Thanks so much for the visit.

  16. bulldog says:

    What a brilliant post.. and I got the cloud right… it was Elvis…

    1. YES!!!!!! I knew I couldn’t be the only one! Everyone else is seeing Santa Claus or Zeus!

  17. Woolly Muses says:

    Love it…and Elvis is watching over us.

  18. Lignum Draco says:

    You saw the king! 🙂
    That’s an amazing trip. How long has the ecolodge been operating for?

    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:

  19. Beautiful choices for this week’s theme.

    1. Thanks so much. I loved your take on the weekly theme too.

  20. niasunset says:

    WOW! Should be amazing travel, I loved your photographs. Thanks and Love, nia

    1. Dear Nia,
      Thank you so much for your visit, and for your kind comments. It was an amazing place to travel.

  21. Amy says:

    Beautiful photos of your amazing Amazon trip!

    1. Thanks so much, Amy. It’s always good to hear from you.

  22. Elvis cloud made my day what a journey !now know where he went when he left the building 😉

    1. Ha! I love it! Thanks for the visit. You can tell everyone that The King is well, and hanging around in Peru.

  23. 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.

  24. ShimonZ says:

    It was a pleasure to go back with you to that great adventure.

    1. Dear Shimon,
      Thanks so much for your visit, and for coming along for the ride. It’s always great to hear from you.

  25. Hahahahaha–it TOTALLY was Elvis!

    1. Yessss!!!!! The Elvis votes might yet overtake Santa Claus!

    1. Thanks so much for the visit!

  26. Madhu says:

    It does, it does it does!! 😀 And I love that victorious tree! 🙂

    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.

  27. Maureen Kay. says:

    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. Hi Maureen,
      Thanks so much for the visit–as you can see, I’m way behind on my blogging! I hope you had a merry Christmas, and I wish you a very Happy New Year!

  28. The King rules okay 😉
    Those photos are heavenly, indeed. We must fight to conserve the Amazon at all costs.

    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.

  29. katzmcmullen says:

    You found Elvis. The King lives!

  30. 4amWriter says:

    You have some of the most amazing adventures, and you write about them with such grace. I love it.

    1. Dear Kate,
      That means a lot to me, especially coming from a writer like yourself. Thanks so much for the visit, and for your generous response.

  31. 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!

  32. reocochran says:

    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.

  33. frizztext says:

    you made me smile featuring Mr. Presley’s portrait profile in the sky of Peru!

  34. pommepal says:

    Well well the King has left the building and now lives in the sky, well seen Naomi

  35. Laura Bloomsbury says:

    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!

  36. Sherry says:

    Great submissions and I bet it was fun reliving an amazing trip!!!! Thanks for sharing.

    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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