National Geographic : 1963 Jan
pucherani rides the fishing rod. Telescoping sections slide the bird into Ruschi's hands rock, rebounded from a ledge ten feet below, and cascaded in steepening steps into a nar row valley that dropped swiftly between for est-clad hills. Hazily in the distance, humped bosses of granite rose like the backs of mastodons in a dim Pleistocene landscape; somewhere be yond them the Timbui River wound at last to the barely discernible blue line of the sea. I thought of the young naturalist Charles Darwin who wrote, on first beholding the green continent, "Delight itself, however, is a weak term to express the feelings of a nat uralist who, for the first time, has wandered by himself in a Brazilian forest.... such a day as this brings with it a deeper pleasure than he can ever hope to experience again." One day Dr. Ruschi took me hummingbird fishing. I call it that because the implement Ruschi uses to capture the little fellows alive is a telescopic aluminum fishing rod. "I have them made at a fishing-tackle place in Paris," Ruschi said. "Every time I go over, I order one made longer; once I asked for one 30 feet long. The Frenchman was taken aback and asked why I wanted such a long rod. I said, 'It is for a fish that lives in the middle of a wide river.' If I had told him that I wanted to catch hummingbirds, he would never have taken me seriously again." N ,(.5.