Tuesday, August 12, 2014

grampa is reaching for his wallet

Duck!  Here comes Grampa Steve with his baby pictures.

One of the thrills of living on Villa Obregon’s laguna is witnessing the cycle of life.  And it is as raw as jungle life can be -- with death, birth, and struggle served up with daily shows,.  Matinees on Wednesdays.

Of course, my favorite act is the hatching of the crocodile eggs.  I have learned a lot about the maternal instinct from this little drama.  Who knew that mother crocodiles could be so nurturing?

The best part of the cycle, though, is watching the hatchlings do their best to survive in a hostile world.  Last year, I took a series of great photographs, if I do say so myself.  (LINK)  I had hoped that this year would be even better with my relatively new camera.

But circumstances are different this year.  Very different.  Last year there were over 40 babies spread across a large portion of our arm of the laguna.  This year I have counted only five.  And they have remained secluded.

For good cause.  A wave of hungry birds and avenging neighbors bent on molesting the young has washed over the small beach where the babies try to hide and survive.  Two nights ago, two older women were throwing large stones at the babies, calling them “bad.”

Now, how could that face be "bad?"  It might even be smiling.

Any wildlife that moves around here is subject to a shortened life throw stoning, stomping, or hacking.  And most of those things that slither, scurry, or scuttle are either benign or helpful to the ecosystem.

Trying to reason that there has not been one reported injury of a human by a crocodile in Melaque will only fall on deaf and fearful ears.  Even I admit these large reptiles knot the stomach.  Especially at night when I am expecting to see only ants.  But crocodiles are in far more danger from us than we are from them.

I suspect I will not get many shots of this hatching.  So, indulge a proud grampa.  After all, the babies will move on in one fashion or other.

And here is a bonus for indulging a sentimental old man.

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