On the 28th of May I was reading in my trailer when I noticed that there was a major commotion in my palo verde tree created by a Grey Thrasher (bird). It went on for some time so I went outside to investigate. I sat in my favorite observation chair (very comfortable reclining lounge chair donated by my dear friends Chris and Christina). There was only one Thrasher so it wasn’t a mating ritual and though other birds (three Cactus Wrens, a Verdin, a Pyroloxia and a Northern Cardinal) came by and added to the ruckus, I couldn’t make out what was happening. I continued watching believing something was going to happen and stood up to take a closer look. I had to relieve myself anyway so walked over to where the major action was going on but saw nothing until this critter came “slithering” down next to my shoulder.
It was a 6’ long “CoachWhip” that had apparently been looking for some delicacy to feed on and the birds were pissed!
He continued down the tree and then curled up under the ceruelo tree where he remained until the birds gave up and then he slithered off again into the brush. I have never seen a white CoachWhip before – very beautiful and a gift from The Great Mystery for sure. I love snakes – well, I love most critters but snakes are very cool.
I saw this as a good sign and found that my picture was viewed by john of God the next day. I felt empowered and since the sea was calm I did some laps – 18 actually. That’s the most I have done since my stroke! I also got the terrific news that my son Zack had been offered a fulltime job with The Prevention Institute in Oakland – real proud of you son! He has always been “in the trenches” for freedom – Justice – Equality and now he can take it further than ever before.
I tried for a kayak and swim a couple of days later but found that climbing back into my kayak in deep waters was difficult. I may have to give up that particular part of my scenario down here. Rest of the day was unusual. Had a trembler that rocked the trailer and made some ruckus (sounded like an explosion), some banditos hit one of the empty houses next door and then I observed the strangest bird behavior I had ever seen. I was watching an intensely beautiful sunset when I noticed a large bird (first though a vulture or osprey) about 200 yds off and at about 50’ flapping his wings vigorously but going nowhere. There was no wind at all so I watched and wondered what it was doing. The light was not good or the angle so I just couldn’t make out what it was. Too big for an osprey – wrong wing flap for a vulture.....and it was going NOWHERE! I watched till the light was gone and it was still there, same exact spot. I have watched plenty of birds and seen ospreys suspended above the tidal zone looking for prey but this was different – magical really.
Early hurricanes this year, expecting 19 with 4 of them major cat. 4 – plus an El Nino. I may be here to see some of it but hope to be back in the States by mid-August. Blanca was a troublemaker – electricity.
I have a sweet Cactus Wren family nesting in my palapa and I have been observing their behavior (once a biologist, always a biologist). Right now it’s all about feeding the young. Mostly small bugs but an occasional small lizard. Lots of dialogue between male and female particularly when approaching the nest. Totally different calls when I am about and moving.
On the 6th of June I decided to take a morning swim even though the surf was up a bit from Blanca. I didn’t wear a suit because the water was warm and it seemed that the shore break was lessening so I went in. After two laps I realized the swell was greater than I had thought so I started in. Of course I had to come over many rocks to get in and got thrown by a wave on to them opening a nasty cut on my elbow and leg. Could have been a lot worse – no more next time for sure. What I learned was that I have two very different personalities in my human body. One that says, “don’t do this it is stupid and YOU know it”, and another that says, “you can do it, you HAVE to do it”.....and 9 times out of ten I will follow the second voice. What I seem to like about it is that when I go against the first voice, time is SUSPENDED!
Two days later was a bad water pump day, pila leaking, over heated pump etc. Took all day to straighten things out but successful. Getting plenty of OT/PT down here believe me.
On the 11th of June I had another gift from The Great Mystery in introducing me to a beautiful, and large, Isla Cerralvo Whip Tail lizard. First one I have ever seen – what a treat. Then this young Zebra Tailed lizard climbed on a nearby rock and posed for me.
Isla Cerralvo Whip Tail
Zebra Tailed Lizard
Next day I went and did laps again but wore my skin suit. Good thing – I swam into a large group of “Aqua Malos” (our Pacific version of the Portuguese Man O’ War). I only got stung twice but had to make a hasty retreat from the area. Then I stepped on a large Diamond Sting Ray and that was a surprise, altogether I saw 6 sting rays during my swim – exciting day!
Diamond Sting Ray: NMP
Some extra pics just for the sake of color and variation :
Hawks Bill Sea Turtle by the reef
Crew of Dariabar after arriving in Hawaii from San Francisco, 1998
My great, great grandfather, Peter All. Grand Patriarch
of the Mender (my mother's family) dynasty - sea men all!