Tuesday, May 06, 2014

moving to mexico -- wildlife

How many times have I written: "I didn't come to Mexico for the weather"?

How ever many times it is, it is no less true due to repetition.  The same thing goes for the food.  That is not why I am here.

And you know the next question -- because some of you have asked it of me.  Then, why did you move to Mexico?

The broad answer is the same reason young men moved from the east coast of The States to the Wild West and Alaska.  For adventure. 

It took 400 years for my English and Scottish ancestors to make their way from Massachusetts and Virginia through Canada and Missouri to Oregon.  When I moved to Mexico, I was simply exercising my genes to hunt out a life of fewer comforts than the one I had in Salem.

And I have found it here in Melaque.  Despite the heat, humidity, and blood-sucking insects, I stick around here primarily because of the wildlife.  It is hard to have adventure without a nice dose of wildness.

Of course, at the top of that list are the crocodiles who allow me to share the beauty of their laguna each day.  Sometimes, that sharing can be up close and scaly.

I think most of you already know my garden gate opens onto the andador -- the walkway around a portion of the laguna.  It usually offers a cordon sanitaire between the crocodiles and me.  But, not always.

A couple of nights ago, I ventured onto the andador in search of leaf-cutter ants.  When I walked out the gate, I turned left and started walking along the edge that often serves as a superhighway for the ants.

Before I reached the edge, I glanced up, and saw what you are now seeing at the top of this post.  A medium-sized crocodile. 

I will admit my stomach twisted.  Even though the business end of the crocodile was pointed away from me, I have seen how quickly crocodiles can flip and move.

But she didn't move.  Humans are the only natural enemy of crocodiles in these parts.  Usually, whenever a crocodile sees a person, all you see is a quick splash in the water.  Not this time.

As entranced as I was watching her, I needed a photograph.  So, I dashed back in the house to set up my camera.  When I returned she was still there.

Looking at bulging sides, I knew why.  She was filled with eggs and was laying them in holes she had dug in the embankment.  In about 75 days (early July), we should be entertained with a new generation of baby crocodiles.  My camera is on high alert.

Crocodiles are not everyone's cup of tea.  But their continued presence in my life is probably the primary reason I live where I do.

The rest of you can praise the culinary allure of tacos.  I like my adventure to be a bit more life-threatening.


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