With the arrival of spring, nature is coming to life. Birds are starting to mate, and we have noted changes in the usual song patterns of some species. They are also vying for “squatters’ rights,” and we are hearing some pretty lively “discussions.” We see rivals laying claim to their territory – but not without a fight. There are two Great Egrets (also known as Great White Herons) that are really getting physical, and the latest duel saw the less-dominant male lose his grip resulting in a pretty rough tumble from an Acacia tree.
We have three species of orioles feasting on the young fruit of the Guamúchil tree as well as the oranges and bananas we have on offer.
Last week we listened as three pale-billed woodpeckers “talked territory” with their distinctive double-knock drumming on the palm tree right off the casita. Who says you can’t understand bird language?
Inside our casa, the late night chirping is reaching a frenzy. Geckos are unique among lizards in their vocalizations. They use chirping sounds in social interactions with other geckos. The female gecko’s mating call sounds like a shortened bird chirping which attracts nearby males.
The iguanas come down from the high palms to sun bathe as do the turtles on logs along the estuary.
Every day I see another flower budding or a tree bursting into bloom. The Primavera and Amapa trees in bloom signal spring has officially arrived – no matter what the date on the calendar.
In our courtyard, the flowering of the Plumeria (frangipani) tells us loud and clear that spring has arrived.
Nothing says spring like the abundance of mariposas as they dance from flower to flower. There are many, in all shapes, sizes and colours. Persuading these butterflies to pose long enough for a photo can be a real challenge but time and patience often pays off.
The Desfile de Primavera welcomes spring in a big way with floats and kings and queens and children in costume. The highlight of the parade seems to be the hurling of candy into the crowds that line the Avenida.
Every year I make it a practice to go to the Avenida for the (Palm Sunday) procession. The artistically-woven palm fronds are an amazing art form. I always wish I could learn how to be so creative. A procession, led by a young boy in a white robe on a burro, wends its way to the church at the plaza. The lively crowd wave palm branches as they sing “Viva Christo Rey.”
Of course, Semana Santa and Semana Pascua mark the highpoint of spring’s arrival. The arrival of the thousands of Mexican tourists that flock to the beaches in Rincón de Guayabitos spells spring in capital letters. Beach umbrellas of every colour sprout from the sand as families vie for space for their shade canopies and their cazuelas of homemade food.
It’s a family affair, and the more the merrier. On the streets there is big time gridlock. The line-ups at the grocery stores rival the ones I’ve seen at Boxing Day sales back home. Restaurants are jam-packed while bungalows overflow. It’s two weeks of non-stop partying and fun.
Today we headed to the mangrove rookery to watch the egret courtship and nest building high in the trees near the La Peñita RV Park. The feather display and graceful ballet performances are mesmerizing and sensual. A pleasant surprise this year was the mating-season colour transformation of the cattle egrets – a far cry from the boring cattle egrets we usually see around cattle. There were also dozens of Black-crowned night herons – all these just begging to have their photo taken. Stay tuned in the next few weeks to see an article devoted especially to our adventures at the rookery.
So, if you haven’t got spring fever, hopefully, after reading this article, and viewing the photos, you get some “get up and go,” because nature calls!
by Ken & Bea Rauch
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