A couple of hours of looking through old photos of the non-digital sort yielded two photos of the blackbirds whose sunset flights were described in this poem. In these photos, they have not yet gathered into the chains they form to fly to the cornfields between Chapala and Guadalajara. Here they are just lifting out of the acres of cattails that rimmed the lake back when it was shrinking in size. This is just one wave of birds. After it lifted, there would have been another and another—tens of thousands of birds—as I recall, some yellow-winged and some red-winged blackbirds. In the years since then, the lake has thankfully come up to its original banks, as at the time I moved here in 2001 there were places in which you had to take a taxi from the pier to get out to the lake. It was estimated that the lake would be totally gone within five years, but luckily people banded together to save it. I’m glad to have the lake restored and there are still thousands of white pelicans as well as numerous egrets and herons and other birds, but I do miss those glorious swells of blackbirds.
(If you want to see the birds, you need to click on photos to enlarge them.)
Night lifting of blackbirds from the cattails .
Snowy egrets still abound lakeside.
Thousands of white pelicans winter at the lake, then and now.
Blackbirds flocking to fly to the cornfields between Chapala and Guadalajara. And to the trees in town plazas.
I took my visiting friend Christine for a ride around the lake and into Michoacan to Petatan, a little town out on a peninsula that is home to dozens of fisheries and a few restaurants where the catch is about as fresh as it can get. Thousands of egrets, gulls, coots and black wing-tipped pelicans float and fly back and forth waiting for fish parts to be tossed into the water. In the restaurant we chose, the day’s special was blackened catfish and as you can see below, Christine enjoyed every moment of hers. A non-fish-lover, I opted for quesadillas and beans! (Please click on the first photo below to increase the size of all photos and to read the captions.)
When we got to Petatan, there were plenty of other people there to eat at the fish restaurants and view the birds.
The first thing we saw upon entering the open-air restaurant was the kitchen. The special that day was catfish and so Christine ordered it.
Thanks to the fact that we arrived early, there were few other diners, so her order was not long in coming.
By the time we left, however, the large place was packed with up to 20 people at a table.
She lit into her whole catfish with relish.
So how do I approach this?
Can’t be so hard.
At first , I’ll approach it logically
This goes here,
and this goes here.
She finally got tickled over the whole adventure
and eventually downright silly.
Nonetheless, she got the job done, stripping the catfish down to the bone.
And while we ate, this was the show we watched outside the floor-to-ceiling windows:
We drove out of Petatan along a newly paved road, past this wall with scenic openings, and a bit further into Michoacan.
We eventually turned around and drove back to Tizapan,
To view this lovely old church.
Christine had a peek inside
where she was surprised to find a wedding going on.
We left the churchyard
and found this weekly market going on in the street near the church.
This young man, although heavily burdened, was happy to pose for us.
We, however, were in search of fruit and vegetables, so we passed on by, loaded up our shopping bags, and headed home. The end.
There were so many wonderful phases of this rapidly changing sunset, that I couldn’t cull out any more than I have. I am perhaps excessive, but this sunset certainly was as well, so I feel I’m justified. If you click on the first photo, it will enlarge them all.
From my time of birth up to my years septuagenarian, if it were my choice, I always chose to be riparian. I hate the sound of silence, for I find it rather static, but I love the sound of water, be it tidal or erratic.
A little water rushing by or falling from a height is lulling to my hearing and pleasing to my sight. It contributes to my happiness, creates a sense of calm— a sensory diversion that serves me as a balm.
So to add to my contentment, no need for feast or cake. Just plant me by a river or a waterfall or lake. All I need is just a little water in my view. If you want to make me happy, just provide the H20!!!
Click on any photo to enlarge all.
The prompt words today are erratic, feast, riparian and contribute. Here are the links: