Monday, October 9, 2017
I am in Mexico.
This morning, I awoke to the most amazing sight: Thousands of Monarch butterflies floating over our patio! Hubby and I sipped our coffee and laughed out loud at the amazing amount of them flying by, admiring their beauty and feeling so fortunate to be here during the migration. I tried to video the butterflies, but alas, my camera phone is no good. Picture this: One small orange butterfly would flitter by on the breeze just above my head, then a few seconds later two or three would come by. We watched them float upwards and over the buildings, only to see when we later took a walk that they were flying over the roof top to have a snack on the neighbor’s bougainvillea. Walking down the beach road with butterflies flying all about us was so beautiful and so strange, it actually occurred to me I might be dreaming. A good pinch dispelled me of that notion. It’s late afternoon now, and there are still a few lone butterflies floating about, all of them flying west towards town.
We saw so many beautiful things at the beach this weekend. I love teasing the hand-sized crabs who think they are hiding so well in the sand, but when gently prodded with a toe, quickly scuttle away sideways. (The crab is my astrological sign which I do not think fits in any way; the Cancers who I know are not crabby at all, but are very happy, thoughtful people.) I spent time sitting in a warm tide pool and was happy to see small Sergeant Major fish floating in the same pool as I was. The majestic Osprey stood stoically on his man-made perch just east of our place. The nest is overly huge, so I’m thinking he must have eggs or babies he is protecting. Twice a day we see the man with his horses for rent walking down the beach. All of them are tethered except for one young dark-brown foal who hangs back, testing the caballero who leads them, then when they get too far ahead, the young horse begins to feel worried and gallops to join the rest of the group. It makes me laugh every time. We’ve tried to identify the many birds we see on the beach, but our bird guide is for California and is of no use.
As we swam in the warm water yesterday afternoon, we were enveloped by huge clouds of tiny silver fish. Two-inches long and completely metallic silver, we “think” they are sardines, but neither of the two zoology books in the condo have info on them. We’ve certainly seen them before. The birds loved the great fishing; we loved the feeling of being in a huge school of tiny sparkly fish (I’m talking thousands of fish swimming densely together) tickling our legs and toes.
Today the pelicans returned to their mostly odd-numbered flocks, allowing me to stand by my completely unscientific analysis of coastal bird behaviors. In that same vein, Hubby shared with me that he’s noticed when the tide is all the way in, it is flat at the shore, and when it’s coming in, the tide is angled toward the west . . . and when the tide is going out, it’s angled to the east. I narrowed my eyes and said, “I’ve never heard of such a thing.” He shrugged and said this scientific finding was in direct correlation to how many beers he’d consumed at that time.
There is magic in this place. I can feel it as soon as my bare toes hit the warm sand and I inhale all the rich ocean smells. Maybe all beaches are like this: full of surprises, unexpected beauty, and interactions with nature that leave one full of questions. I fell in love with this place when I was here for the first time at age 13; at 53 I’m still in love with this gentle Sea of Cortez, our little neighborhood called Las Conchas, and this small town of Puerto Penasco, Mexico.
It’s finally happy hour, and there’s a cold bottle of Pacifico waiting for me in the fridge. Tonight Hubby and I will watch the bright stars twinkle in the dark sky over the ocean, and we’ll wait for the waning full moon to slowly climb up the eastern horizon. We’ll feel grateful for this beautiful day, along with a hint of regret at having to return home tomorrow.