My good mood from finding lovely and interesting things about ospreys has been stained by the abundance of blue covering my country. Fuck you Mr. Blue.
Mr. Red looks choked, poor guy. The red’s just ain’t what they used to be. Here’s to an orange and green future, where the separatists are no more, and where there is strength in a new and wonderful and happy Canada. The results of tonight upset me as I sit here in tiny town Mexico, staring at the CBC live footage under a hatched palm leaf roof. But there are some positive things that happened, and change in Canada's demeanour is evident. I will wait patiently until 2015 when I can gather everyone I know and we can finally vote for someone who will represent our country properly. Perhaps an arrangement of a little Monica Lewisnki-type scandal is in order…any volunteers? Surely Mr. Blue has his demons. If they are to be exposed and affect us, I only hope that we will be able to make him step down. We must work and be leaders within our communities to make positive things happen and not rely on this puke-faced creep that we call our Prime Minister for direction.
I know I am still behind and I left you in Puerto Lobos but I will hopefully continue that and catch up over a stiff cup of coffee tomorrow. I had an interesting day with respect to Ospreys and wanted to get it out while it’s still fresh.
I awoke this morning at a respectable hour with the sun shining (what a surprise) and a thick layer of sand covering my scalp from the previous day at the beach. Winds were up to 40knots and continued to be as viciously strong today. I have since bathed and most of the sand is now on the floor of the shower. After a most delicious breakfast and coffee I made a little route map of the Osprey nests I would visit today. I was supposed to go out on Saturday and do this but had a freak out when driving the Dodge. It’s probably the most frightening vehicle I’ve ever been in. Not to mention it was only my second time driving stick on my own, it turns off all the time, and there were crazy people everywhere because it was Semana Diabla. I made it as far as the gas station, filled up (which I found out later was pointless because most of the gas would leak out of this beauty), and called it quits.
So today I went out with ambition. I packed the scope, binoculars, GPS, cell phone (Abram’s), big jug of water, some fruit, and my tilley hat and headed out into the desert to see how my Osprey friends were doing. The first site I went to was off the highway at an old abandoned casa. I love abandoned houses and imagining what they used to be like when they were lived in and loved. I crossed to an “island” in the estero to check on the nests out there. There was great evidence of water once being there but I had a dry crossing, over very cracked sandy substrate. I don’t think I have ever seen the ground look so thirsty. There was a loud shrill of some sort of insect perhaps trying to warn me off or perhaps looking for a mate. It did not deter me from my mission and I found two adults and a pretty big chick in a nest. I got a little discouraged because every time I looked down to write something, the scene would change. I watched for awhile and got a good idea of who and how many were actually there. Also I learned not to put your bag down in the desert and walk away, unless you make sure to remember exactly where it is. Thankfully blue stands out against tan.
I went to another site Abram calls the Crab camp. A lot of these sites are down fairly random desert roads off the high way. They occur between certain fence posts that don’t have barbed wire across them. About every 5-10km’s there’s a dirt/sand road leading somewhere off the highway. These dirt/sand roads also fork a lot and I have had to back track a few times. One road I went down lead me to a nest we hadn’t found before. There was a bird in it so I stopped the truck and walked up to get the coordinates to plot it on the GPS. The osprey immediately flew away but was making a lot of noise at me, which lead me to believe it was protecting something. I headed back to the truck to write down my thoughts. Just like at the previous site, when I looked up from my paper, the scene had changed. There were 4 ravens, that seemingly came out of nowhere, perched on each head of the cardon. A hundred or so meters away a 5th raven was swooping at the osprey. Chills went down my spine. Ravens like to eat eggs and chicks. I got pissed off and ran up to them and yelled at them to go away. They were a bit confrontational and I got a little freaked out but they eventually shooed off. I still don’t know if there was anything in that nest – but am thinking of making some sort of mirror on a stick contraption to see inside next time.
Then it was off to the Crab Camp down the road I’d missed. At the end of this particular road there are a few deserted looking shanty’s, ponga’s, and sometimes a dog that barks at you. I checked out the nests I had to and then hopped back in the car. I had just begun my classic 5 point turn around when I realized I was stuck in the sand. Being from Canada and never really haven driven a standard truck…well this was a completely new experience for me. I did not panic, but distracted myself thinking about the election and my anger for the Conseratives gave me the strength to begin digging out the front wheels with my hands. Abram told me that when you hit sand, on the road, you have to keep your speed. Never stop on sand. And if you’re stuck – well don’t keep driving because it’ll only put your deeper. Here I was, done my 5 hours of work, had just called in to say I’m coming home, and I’m on my hands and knees digging out the Ranger. Thankfully it was a success and I gave the truck a little pat on the dashboard when we were freed.
I headed back to town and checked out a few more nests. One is on a telephone pole right outside this maybe-a-drugdealers house among barking dogs and tourist chaos. There were three chicks in it today! So cute…and very exciting. I also climbed Punta Ignasio, the big hill/mountain to the west of us to check out another nest and felt the beautiful strength of the wind. How can these birds live successfully atop such windy telephone poles? That is a question to remain answered. More reading and observing to be done. I realized today that it is important not to rush when observing organisms for patience and and a little extra time in simple watching can allow you to see so much more of the whole picture. I am a happy biologist today.
I treated myself to a mango and some delicious pasta with veggies when I got home. And writing about this – the beauty of nature – makes me feel much less worse about Mr. Harper. He can’t keep me from doing my thing.
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