Monday, March 21, 2011

Our Love Went Flat, Just Like That

Playing paper airplane with a Buff-bellied Hummingbird.

Almost two weeks into it now. Things are beginning to settle into something resembling a routine, for good or ill. I am morphing into a better, bronzererererer me. I am usually fed absurd amounts of food, which is one of the things here I could get used to. My Mexicanese gets better word by word, and I can already tell that is a lot better than when I got here. Maybe all that high school Spanish is finally paying off……you were right Sr. Dave, you were right……

There has been a lot of pigeon action around the old casa lately. Alexis, the default Mayor of Chavarrillo, had caught 7 pigeons a while ago to use in our raptor-banding operation…but his niece “liberated” them and we had to go get some more. Carlos, the youngest member of the family I’m living with, was the likely culprit behind the liberation of the one pigeon we were keeping here. We now are keeping 4 (caught next door), but Carlos has a single-minded urge to torment them/help them escape as much as humanly possible, which causes problems for everyone except Carlos…he is both mentally and physically hard to dissuade and the lack of doors that lock around the house/tower do not make things any easier. Picturing being the protector of the pigeons and being the sole hawk counter at the same time causes me much consternation. Will we ever find a way? More updates to come on Pigeongate.

Grayish Saltators absorbing some smoggy sun.

The birding keeps getting better. More and more raptors are finally appearing. And you know what? I’ve been birding well over half my life now, and considering my resplendent youth (well, compared to most birders), that makes me a huge fuck-off bird nerd if you do the math. I’m really, really good at birding people. Number 8 in the nation and all that (need I remind you?). That said, being a raptor counter down here is bloody hard. So far, from the tower itself, we’ve had Common Black-Hawk, Zone-tailed Hawk, Gray Hawk, Roadside Hawk, Short-tailed Hawk, Swainson’s Hawk, Broad-winged Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Cooper’s Hawk, Osprey, Crested Caracara, Bat Falcon, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, Turkey Vulture, Black Vulture (there was a Swallow-tailed Kite over the banding station today….my heart quakes with jealousy)….identifying a colorless silhouette a mile away through heat haze is not for the faint of heart. So I’m still working some shit out, but I’ll be savvy soon enough…the other official counter is usually busy doing other things so its just me doing some brutal self-instruction.

One of the local Roadside Hawks, our spatulate-winged friends. Oh Steve Howell, you and your quirky adjectives...

Other recent events….got lifer Blue-black Grassquits yesterday….watched Groove-billed Anis flop around in a pile of turds…during dinner saw a massive chunk of cement fall out of the ceiling and come inches from landing on Irving’s head…have become intimately familiar with the local moonshine known as cana (it’s distilled from sugarcane, which is grown extensively in eastern Mexico)…pondered the State of Affairs, youth slipping away, Middle Eastern politics, girls…all that stuff. When you spend all day staring at the sky you can’t help but have one of those agonizing reappraisals of self...treachery of the ego. I’m a very complicated man…but at least Felonious Jive is here to help keep my feet on the ground. I think if I put on the Ian Fays everything will be fine…..

1 comment:

  1. Interesting stuff. Carlos sounds like a budding biologist (wildlife empathy/fixation). Thanks for the bb&b dose. =) It's been missed!

    P.S. Since you used the phrase: "huge fuck-off" I have to ask--are you an Eddie Izzard fan?