Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Think Of The Difference We Could Make, If We Only Tried

What’s going on in The Rest Of The World people? I’m pretty cut off from things here in Chavarrillo. The local internet place is so slow that I feel myself aging (decaying?) while waiting for my emails to load…so I don’t invest a lot of time in looking for news…too many graphics. If I can get back to Xalapa things might be different….

Which is not important to anyone. Last I saw a devastating earthquake shook Tokyo to its core, triggering catastrophic tsunamis and a radiation leak. I still know little of this whole event...but holy creeping Jesus that is a full-blown Shitstorm if I’ve ever heard of one. We are happy to say BB&B’s bizarre Japanese colleague Bio is ok, but the same cannot be said for a hell of a lot of other people. It’s shockwaves rang out across the Pacific, washing up in places like the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, where I still have friends. Luckily, no humans there lost their lives, but a hell of lot of seabirds did. Word is that the sacred Short-tailed Albatross chick on Midway Atoll was washed out of its nest, but was returned by the illustrious Pete Leary. Hopefully its parents have not given up on it yet…

Libya sounds really intense right now (March 13). Not a bloodless revolution there…BB&B supports the ouster of the regime, at least by Libyas people…if Khaddafi wants to fight until his “last drop of blood”, he might get what he wishes for…what do you think of the no-fly zone idea? Maybe by the time this gets published there will already be one. Seems risky, to say the least…but if you can prevent a military from bombing its own citizens…well, its pretty complicated.

What do you guys think? Do birders care about things like revolution and freedom? I have noticed a dangerous aversion of anything political in a lot of birders/biologists, which while is not something I can totally blame you for is is still not something I would recommend to anyone. It’s a pretty reprehensible attitude, at best. The best way to strip a populace of its basic rights is to make people completely apathetic and ignorant of the political arena…but you know that…..right? Relatively speaking, the United States has decent environmental protection laws (which you appreciate more when you are living someplace like Mexico), and it is not going to be the people who wince at the mention of politics who will be keeping those laws on the books, or making them as strong as they should be. Something to chew on for you kids who are trying to play Switzerland…but you are the same kids who might not get that.

Closer to my current home, Mexico’s (drug) war does not seem concerned with Chavarrillo, which is obviously good for all of us here. Focusing on daily life and the various bird-tasks-at-hand is made a lot easier living in a small, quiet town, some miles off the highway. That does not, by any means, imply that I’ve been living an uneventful, quiet life for the past several weeks however…it never gets boring unless I’m up on the tower and migration isn’t happening. Weird shit happens constantly in Mexico…hopefully I won’t get so acclimated to think of these events as totally normal.

No (new) breathtaking birds of late. Yesterday (March 13…sorry for the time delay) I saw the first big flock of Swainson’s Hawks go over, about 175 birds. Hopefully there will be many more to keep me occupied soon. I have been trying to get to the local wetland spot every since I’ve been here with no success...I love the wetlands. LOVE the wetlands. There must be some weird birds there…you know what I’m saying? Maybe tomorrow. In other news, the white girl I’m working with just predicted that I will hate her in the span of one week, so the clock’s ticking on that front. I don’t know what this portends exactly, but it gives me The Fear. As you experienced biologists know, there is always the gratuitous person on a field crew that you attempt to wish out of existence….but it’s not her. Yet.


  1. What the "white girl" said really makes me curious. Why does someone say that? What is their goal (if they have goals attached to their statements)? What does it mean about them? Are they right? VERY interested to hear how that works out.

    I was at a conference all last week with 0 seconds of interenet/tv/radio and also felt v. cut off. Esp. weird when the world is imploding.

    However, I can tell YOU Yosemite NP is still closed (day 3) due to snowstorm and commensurate power outtage (maybe back on Saturday?!?) and power lines down, trees in roads, etc. Heard Hwy 140 to park is just open, but park is not. Saw friends this a.m. who live nearby and are on day 3 of no power--you can spot them 'cause they have 10,000 layers on--40 dF in their house. FUN STUFF!

  2. Man, Libya is a crazy situation and I hardly understand what is going on... this is further complicated by my complete distrust of governments and media.

    I don't know if birders care much for politics, but I know that the x and i are both reasonably interested in political issues... especially those with direct environmental impacts.

    Here in Oregon we're up to our eyes resisting the LNG pipeline plan and the heavy hauls on the Columbia River.

    Glad to hear things in Mexico are going smoothly!

  3. Snow....a year ago I was wading through it in the mountains of Arizona, looking for migrants. It was frustrating....Ill take the heat any day.

    Flicker Boi...keep up the good fight!