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A Peaceable Kingdom

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Quite a lineup--five scarlets, one great green, and its hybrid great green x scarlet baby.
We're still at Don Alvaro's macaw rescue ranch.
A wild white-faced capuchin moves in to make some trouble. She wants a peanut, too. Or all the peanuts. Give me all the peanuts.

A great green macaw walks up a tree trunk. Its feathers shine with health. I couldn't believe the exquisite condition of these birds. Natural food, humidity, the society of others and freedom--they all make for healthy, happy birds.

Here comes a great green!

To see these birds bombing by at eye level is something I'll never forget. And catch the color of the reverse on the tail feathers--tomato red and blue reverses to gold and green.

Those who were brave enough to hold the peanut bin might get sat upon. Nancy loves it!

Photo by Jim Palmer

Conejo, or "Rabbit," was this donkey's name. He was the loveliest, most placid animal I've ever met. He moved quietly around the garden, like the macaws, free to go, but choosing to stay. And he came up to give a little love to pet-starved travelers like Kim.

Don Alvaro saw me feeding him some of the delicious pineapple he'd set out for the human visitors, and brought out the rinds and cores for me to give to Conejo. I gave him a whole core and the juice just flowed from his soft mouth.

If I could have packed that donkey in my luggage, I'd have brought him home. He was that lovely.

I saw a female great curassow hanging around in the big macaw flight. Noted that she'd been pinioned, a cruel operation that cuts the distal joint of the wing at the bird's wrist, rendering it flightless. Knew for sure that Don Alvaro would never do such a thing, and that he'd rescued her from somewhere.

I'd talked with captive great curassows in Brasil, and had a hunch she might be lonesome. I made a soft, low hmmmmm in my throat. She walked up to me and let me caress her soft face.

 And she answered with her own low humming.

Amy got to pet her, too.

and so did Kim

and Nancy A.

 The paca (a kind of long-legged forest rodent) was very, very jealous. He tried to interfere while we were petting the curassow. I petted him, too, but I was a little nervous about his extra-long incisors.

I did not pet the female jaguar, who was caged with a male. They had been killing cattle in Nicaragua, and were trapped and slated for death when Don Alvaro intervened.

Don Alvaro's farm is a peaceable kingdom, a place where animals have another chance. However sad its life was before coming to this farm, every animal there has clearly been treated with love from the moment it arrived. I could see that in the curassow's eye, feel it in her warm skin.

And it was magic.


Your words and pictures are a bit magical as well!

Lovely post and animals and humans.

I love this in every way.

I wish life were like this everywhere, everyday for everybody and everything. Beautiful.

Don Alvaro sounds like an angel. I am so happy that you have shared your experiences and photos from his little bit of parrot-dise. Sorry. I couldn't stop myself.

Most of us can only dream! I love love love this and the color and happiness on everyone's face.

Your words and pictures really touched me. It's heartwarming to know that people like Don Alvaro really, truly exist. I recently came across a website called "The Gentle Barn". I think you would enjoy checking it out, Julie. The lady who started it is another kind and gentle soul. She rescues so many farm animals that have been badly treated and gives them a new chance at life. A truly magical person. Thank you for sharing your amazing trip with us. It was quite an experience to read your stories. Oh how I loved those red-eyed frogs!!!!

Your pics are always beautiful, but I just cannot get over those of the macaws. My goodness, they are just fantastically beautiful beyond description! To your point about how awful it must be for them to be caged, I've never seen one in flight and now I will feel even worse for those I come across that will never float in the air over the jungle. I've never gotten to experience the colors underneath when they fly-just wow. Between the macaws and donkey, not sure how you ever left there. How lucky all the animals are to have Don Alvaro.


Posted by Anonymous March 28, 2014 at 7:02 AM

So wonderful. Blessings on Don Alvaro and on you, Julie.

Posted by Gail Spratley March 28, 2014 at 7:31 AM

Beautiful spell, Sorceress Julie.
One thing... you gave the core to the donkey?
Best part of the pineapple!
He must be a very special donkey.

After reading earlier today about wolf killings out west, reading about this peaceable kingdom renewed my faith in humanity.

Just returned from a mission trip to Guatemala where I rode a horse named Conejo! What a coincidence! I thought of you every time I saw a bird. There were some beautiful ones there.

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