Friday, March 18, 2005

A Day in Loreto ...
The Life of a Turkey Vulture ...

by Rosalie Woods, Star Reporter ...




There is nothing much at Puerto Escondido so we car pooled to Loreto, a quiet little town on the Sea of Cortez. It has a nice malecon (promenade) but mostly vacant enterprises like maybe a hurricane demolished it and it hasn't been brought back up yet. Also it was slated for massive development, infrastructures put in, etc. but investors bailed out in droves after 9/11, with drastic lowered expections for tourist expansion in the wake of stricter security precautions.

We were able to observe an intimate moment in the life and death of a Loreto resident when we were visiting the Catholic Church.

A single police car escorted a modest pickup truck bearing a silver coffin and numerous bouquets.



Behind the two vehicles, the modestly dressed men in their work shirts and jeans, the women in dark skirts and dresses, followed on foot. The Mass lasted quite some time before the people followed the casket out of the church. The policia reappeared and led the group of mourning walkers to the cemetery. The tableau was solemn and a simple demonstration of respect.

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Back at Puerto Escondido at dusk, the Turkey Vultures circled and soared in their evening kettle gathering. It seems they roost collectively in the palm trees surrounding the park swimming pool. Their bones are extremely hollow for their size and they are much better at soaring rather than flying. When they arrive at the palms to sleep, it cannot be described as a landing. What they do is arrive. It is a dead stick, crash landing into the palms and whoever else got there first. It goes on for some time until all of the birds are settled in for the night.

The next morning is almost as amusing. They manage to travel to the Cardon Cactus where they perch with wings outstretched like they are airing out their armpits. They can't really soar until their damp wings have thoroughly dried out in the sun

From the bedroom window of our rig, we could see cardinals, orioles, wrens, doves, finches, and flickers as they chattered away in the bougainvillea.

Now onward for three days of camping on the beach.

rowzeewoo@aol.com




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