An island girl exploring

Los Critters

The whales have finally arrived, breaching everywhere! They’re quite late this year, by my clock (which they could care less about). Putting on quite a show, though. I’ve heard of dolphin sightings as well, but am eluded.

My favorite way to wake up in Mexico is the scritcha-squeak call of the Gila Woodpecker in the papaya snag (oh, rats – Jorge just cut it down). No shortage of papaya snags around these parts, fortunately — they also love the ripe fruit (don’t we all?). Thanks to G for buying the Mexican bird book.

They love the sun and insects – the Yellow-winged Cacique are among the prettiest, but the mynahs are everywhere (and def the noisiest). I especially love when they line up, ten across, at the edge of Shelley’s infinity pool and bob up and down drinking water like those glass birds with the mercury inside.

I’ve taken Alejandro’s amazing kayak tour of the lagoon a couple of times now, and loved watching the cormorants drying their wings (do you think maybe they’re the Vashon ones just wintering here?). The pink Duck-billed Rosette is really fun to watch fly away, and I never tire of the elegant egret/ibis family.

On the beach are herons, blue and green (but not so Great, really), egrets, and dozens of pelicanos. Amazing how they can fly in straight-line formation, twelve of these huge birds, with their wing tips only a half inch from a breaking wave. Never a single error. And sometimes, a beakfull of fishies as well (which would definitely throw me off-balance – just sayin’).

Love watching these little guys dance back and forth, tirelessly.

And the Magnificent Frigate Bird never ceases to thrill.

The iguanas are chameleonic, it turns out – on a palm frond fifty feet in the air, they’re yellow and black striped and scurrying out of the forest across a dusty road, they’re the brightest of greens. Some of them are gigantic! It’s mating season (don’t ask). There are a few scary critters, of course (some are lethal), but the wispiest-possible Daddy Longlegs I find in the sink are downright enchanting. Next time, I’ll bring a butterfly book – there’s a huge, white one that always catches my eye, and others with colors and patterns of every stripe. Do you think this one only feeds on plants that match?

Now, many of you may associate this fine country with the dog called Chihuahua. Not here – it’s dachshunds. They’re everywhere in my little world here, and I love them. I want one (don’t tell Snooch and Buddy, though, ok?). Of course, there are scruffy Mexican dogs running around, and many of the “Norteamericanos” bring their beloveds. Callie, a svelte black lab friend, was frolicking in the pool today with the children, playing tag.

I found a one-inch crab in my shower one evening, too — can’t help but wonder what he was looking for to crawl such a long way from the beach. Do you think they have elaborate underground tunnels daylighting into shower drains all over town? Perhaps they glean power from my salon conditioner. Who knows, this is Mexico.

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