Well, it is 4:40 am here and I have been awake since about 2:45am, awakened by the roosters and unable to go back to sleep.On the other hand, perhaps it is unfair to blame it on the roosters. My family situation has been resolved and I have been trying to put together my next blog post, but was just not in the mood, and not able to focus adequately.
I am not a professional writer and rightly so. I can churn out writing once I am “on a roll” and could put out one research paper after another and contribute to discussions when I was going for my degree (2008-2011 – Empire State College), but for this, it is more of a pastime to share my passions, so it is best to write when the mood strikes and I can organize my thoughts properly.
Anyway, back to the “wildlife.” Except for the bandicoot that one of the volunteers saw from a distance a few weeks ago, the non-human, non-insect life around here are chickens, roosters, dogs, cats and cattle (cows and bulls). Oh, yes, and horses, geckos and iguanas.
I had always thought that roosters crowed in the morning and that was the end of it. At 2:45am this morning, I heard a few crows from the rooster, and then silence. About a half hour later, a few more crows and some barking. Now they are starting up again. It is like long-distance conversations with one rooster crowing and then others following suit, and it continues throughout the entire day.
There are chickens all over the place here – in the road, on people’s property, and even at one of the schools we visited yesterday. They had two pens of chickens – one pen for the egg-laying chickens and one for the chickens to be slaughtered and sold to help raise money for the school. While we were there, one of the teachers was demonstrating to the students how to butcher the chicken, which had already been killed and plucked.
I think in the U.S. only people on farms would understand this. Our lives have been so sanitized, with meat already slaughtered, butchered and placed in plastic-wrapped packages and not in any way resembling where they originated. If I had to kill my own food, I might become a vegetarian – except for chickens. They are very mean to each other, and the term “pecking order” is an extremely accurate term regarding these birds. So I am sure I would continue to eat them.
Street dogs are everywhere, and except for an occasional skirmish to re-establish who is the dominant Alpha dog, they seem to get along. There is every kind of mix among these dogs that you can imagine. Tiny chihuahuas running with larger dogs and every size in between. They are very good around humans – I am not afraid of them at all. Not even from the little chihuahuas that were on their owner’s property that bared their teeth and barked at me when I dared to walk past their house.
Horses – you can see them on the streets occasionally and on the local ranches. Every so often I can hear the clip-clop of their hooves on the cobblestone street outside my gate.
Occasionally there are also the cats. This is my 4th trip to Cofradía, but the first year I’ve actually seen a cat. I know there is one that comes into our courtyard here during the night. I’ve seen it when I’ve been up late, but mostly I see the dogs.
One other creature is the bat. When I first came here on January 10th, there were 4 of them that would huddle outside my door above the chandelier. They would show up every two days or so, sleep during the day and fly off at night.
Now there seems to be just two of them, and I am trying to figure out what they’re up to. They do not keep regular hours, so I do not know if their internal clocks are askew or if something else is going on. The past few days, they are either huddling with frequent stretching of their wings,vigorously grooming each other or trying to make a little bat baby.
They are tiny and so high up, it is hard to see them clearly. With my Fuji digital camera, I was able to take a few pictures, setting it for a close-up and then enlarging it again when I looked at the viewing screen. Since the picture is on a chip, and I have been unable to find one of those machines here that they have in just about every CVS and Rite-Aid store at home to print out pictures, I will either have to wait until I get home to publish those pictures or find someone who can do it on their computer or printer/scanner. However, I am posting a picture of the four that were here in the beginning of January.
These are fruit-eating bats, as evidenced by the poop they leave behind on the stairs – seeds and half-eaten black walnut fruit and leaves. One of the pictures I took is of one of them eating a leaf, which I later found dropped onto the stairs.
At least their droppings don’t smell and are easily swept away
One other non-animal related thing. For a few mornings, I have looked out my window and it appeared that the volcano has disappeared. It was very strange. I could see the rest of the landscape, but not the volcano and those will be two pictures that I will post, along with one of the jardín (town square).
The sky has been overcast, yet different from anything I had ever seen before back home, and it has felt as if it was going to rain but hasn’t yet. Not sure about this type of weather, but it is a new experience for me and feels quite weird. Well, such is life, and such is life here in Cofradía !