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Corey and the Trogon

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

 I told you all that I was a real snapshot artist on this trip. Because I am easily nauseated when conveyed in diesel buses on winding mountain roads while fighting dysentery, I usually score a front seat. The cost of not giving me a front seat on a diesel bus on a winding mountain road is steep.

So I amuse myself and try to take my mind off my periodically rising gorge by shooting snapshots out the windshield. It's also a good place to spot birds. On this morning we were headed to Cerro Azul Meambar National park, a fabulous montane forest habitat just full of great birds. First, though, we had to negotiate an extremely steep road that was in the process of being paved. They only pave two tracks, where your tires go. I'm not sure what the advantage is--using less cement? It seems like having to make four forms would cancel that out, but what do I know? These dogs figured we weren't going to make it for awhile, so they were free to rest on the track.

Of course, we got stuck and everybody had to get out and help push the bus. Corey Finger and I had already gotten out to walk up, since we were more interested in birding than sitting on a stuck bus.

I was pleased to see that Homo sapiens var. Bubba  is distributed not only through the American South but all the way to Honduras. Bubbas are attracted to car trouble, and there is a lot of that in Honduras, hence a lot of Bubbas.  Floridacracker, this one's for you. Because it makes me laugh every time I look at it.

The one thing that struck me most about Honduras was that everyone walks. No matter where you are, how far out in the middle of nowhere, there are people gamely walking to destinations unknown. They can't afford cars. The lucky ones might have a horse or donkey, or grab a ride in an overstuffed pickup bed. There are very few cars per capita in Honduras. You'll see commercial vehicles like this truck, but very few personal cars.

There would have to be a street fair going on in the US for a road to be this deserted, peopled only by...people. It is amazing, and I never really got used to being whisked by people patiently walking in the hot sun. I wanted to give them all a ride in our bus.

Especially this man, who was carrying a chainsaw on his shoulder.  Up a mountain. Ye gods. We are sooo soft in America. So soft. Note that he also has a bumbershoot, because he can virtually plan on getting rained on before he gets to wherever he's going. He doesn't even have a pad between the metal and his flesh.

We passed plantations of tropical houseplants, like these red variegated dracaenas.

Children played in the yards, and I wondered where or even whether they attended school.  I'm telling you, Honduras is a whole different scene. It is well worth seeing--it will blow your mind.

Finally we reached Cerro Azul Meambar, having thoroughly enjoyed the sights along the way. The first bird to greet us in the parking lot was a collared trogon! Corey Finger did almost lose his mind. It was his first trogon on his first Neotropical birding trip, and he may be forgiven for jibbering. The collared trogon is a jibberworthy bird.

I caught him pole-dancing with his tripod, trying to get a good digiscoped shot. Oh my.

 Like I said, the sights along the way were worth the trip alone. 

 Less lambada, more trogons and hummingbirds anon.


That last photo should get you a few thousand hits from a whole different kind of audience.

Hey! I know those two guys!

That's me!

I guess I always have a second career to fall back on though I understand one gets tired of paying for everything with dollar bills.

Also, I think I got out of the bus mostly because I was afraid it was going to roll down the side of the mountain and I didn't want to go out that way. But the birds were nice too...


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