The Wall

A stand-off in Washington continues over whether to appropriate 5.7 billion dollars to construct a “wall” along our border with Mexico, while American citizens are punished by the Trump administration with a record-length government shutdown. Trump boasts that the shutdown will continue until his demand for that particular sum of money is met.
Despite Trump’s insistence that the border is in crisis, recent news coverage suggests that the security of our border with Mexico is being well managed by a variety of means (barriers, fences, cameras, electronic surveillance, border patrol agents etc.), with the number of migrants entering via the southern border going down over the last number of years. And, I don’t doubt for a minute that, prior to Trump’s initiating his crusade for a wall, planners in the Dep’t of Homeland Security had already decided upon the most effective means to stop or catch migrants for each and every mile of the border.
But, why isn’t a wall that runs the entire length of the border a smart or practical idea? My wife Kathy and I have visited a number of areas along the border with Mexico, and it is an understatement to say that the terrain along the border is extremely varied, with large sections of the border unsuitable for the construction of a wall or too desolate to attract migrants.
The border with Mexico is 1954 miles long, and is geographically broken into two parts.  For 1260 miles, the eastern portion of the border follows the the deepest channel of the Rio Grande, from a few miles upstream of El Paso, TX, to the Gulf of Mexico. The western portion of the border does not adhere to natural features, but, rather, follows geopolitical boundaries i.e. the southern borders of New Mexico, Arizona and California.
Let’s take a look at those areas of the border that Kathy and I have visited, starting with the eastern end of the border, where the Rio Grande runs into the Gulf of Mexico. This spot is known as Boca Chica, and a 4WD vehicle is needed to drive the three miles of beach from the nearest road access to the north. It is, likewise, hard to access on the Mexican side. It is visited by fishermen, and the few tourists that are ready to tackle the problematic sands of the beach. As far as I can ascertain, no barrier has yet been constructed along the river here, and/or out into the surf. Nor, because of the isolation and lack of roads, is such needed.
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Lighthouse in Mexico, with the Rio Grande in the foreground

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Upstream view of the Rio Grande

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Pelicans and other shorebirds, with the Rio Grande in the foreground and surf in the Gulf of Mexico beyond

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NOTE: In the above map, and all Rio Grande maps that follow, the river runs from left to right.

Found some 25 or so miles upstream from the Gulf are the twin cities of Brownsville, TX and Matamoros, MX. Brownsville is situated at the downstream end of the heavily-populated Rio Grande Valley, known for its citrus production, as a winter destination for “snowbirds”, extraordinary birding and wildlife refuges, and the Brownsville Ship Channel, that connects it to the Gulf.

The Sabal Palm Sanctuary is located along the Rio Grande in Brownsville. A barrier was constructed to the north of the Sanctuary 10 years ago, leaving it (happily) intact.

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Sabal palm

The Santa Ana NWR is located on the Rio Grande, to the south of McAllen, and was saved from construction of a barrier by Congressional action in 2018.

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Black-necked stilts and ducks, Santa Ana NWR

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Spanish moss, Santa Ana NWR

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Butterfly in winter, Santa Ana NWR

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Rio Grande, at Santa Ana NWR

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Kathy looks at clothing discarded by migrants after swimming across the Rio Grande, Santa Ana NWR.

Construction of 33 or more miles of barrier is slated for the Rio Grande Valley, over the objections of most property owners and much of the local population. In the news lately is the scheduled construction of a barrier through the National Butterfly Center, south of Mission, TX.

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Courtesy National Butterfly Center

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Courtesy National Butterfly Center

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Courtesy National Butterfly Center

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The Rio Grande Valley is a unique ecosystem, of a sort found nowhere else in the United States.

Located upstream of the Rio Grande Valley are, first, Falcon and, next, Amistad Reservoirs. The terrain becomes increasingly arid and desolate as one travels upstream in this region.
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Dryden Crossing is located 100 or so river miles upstream of Amistad Dam. Dryden Crossing is the take-out (end point) for the river trip that runs through the most downstream of the Rio Grande canyons – the Lower Canyons. This 83 mile stretch is found immediately downstream of Big Bend National Park
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The desert canyon country of Big Bend National Park and surrounding lands is as rugged as it gets. The Lower Canyons are most easily visited by boat. The put-in is at La Linda Bridge and the take-out at Dryden Crossing.
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Horse Canyon is the first of the Lower Canyons

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Below Black Gap Wildlife Management Area

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Balanced rock

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Kathy, in Hot Springs Rapid

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In low water, this is Complejo del Caballo Rapid

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In high water, the same rapid as above is called Rodeo Rapid, and has the biggest waves on the river

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Burro Bluff

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Steve and Susan, in Upper Madison Falls

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Lower Madison Falls. Left to right: Susan, Kathy and Steve

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Kathy, in Panther Rapid

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San Francisco Canyon

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The Teapots, upstream of Dryden Crossing

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The road to Dryden Crossing. Left  to right: Susan, Steve and Kathy

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While showing off the beauties of these canyons, these photos also demonstrate that no artificial barriers are needed along the Rio Grande here. And that remains the case as one travels upstream into Big Bend National Park. The next canyon upstream from the Lower Canyons is Boquillas Canyon.

The put-in for the Boquillas Canyon run is located at Rio Grande Village, in Big Bend National Park. Found across the river is the Mexican town of Boquillas. The inhabitants of Boquillas depended, in the past, on Park visitors who crossed in row boats to purchase their crafts, and this trade has been disrupted by new Department of Homeland Security restrictions. Boquillas Canyon is 33 miles in length.

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Boquillas, MX

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Boquillas, MX

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Rafting guests enjoy the Boquillas hot springs

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Boquillas Canyon

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Boquillas Canyon and the Sierra del Carmen, MX

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The part of Mexico south of the Rio Grande in this area is extremely remote, wild and un-populated. Again, there is no need for a barrier along the river here.

The next canyons upstream are the short Hot Springs and San Vicente Canyons. The ten mile Mariscal Canyon comes next.

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Kathy, in Mariscal Canyon

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Mariscal Canyon

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Kathy, in Mariscal Canyon

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A fluted and polished limestone boulder, Mariscal Canyon

Equally forbidding to Mariscal Canyon is the next canyon upstream – the 19 mile Santa Elena Canyon. The put-in for Santa Elena Canyon is Lajitas, with the take-out at the mouth of the canyon. The Mexican village of Lajitas used to have commerce with the Texas town of Lajitas, including rowing their children across the river to go to school in the latter. But this, too, has been disrupted.

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The Chisos Mountains of Big Bend NP, from Terlingua, TX

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The Chisos Mountains

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Kathy, atop Emory Pk., 7825′, the highest point in the Chisos Mountains

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The beer drinking billy goat of Lajitas

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Rock Slide Rapid, Santa Elena Canyon

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Kathy, in Santa Elena Canyon

Santa Elena Canyon is the most upstream canyon in Big Bend National Park, but one more canyon is found farther upstream – Colorado Canyon.

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Colorado Canyon

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Kathy, in Colorado Canyon

Upstream of Colorado Canyon are the twin towns of Presidio, TX and Ojinaga, MX. A north flowing Mexican tributary, the Rio Conchos, joins the Rio Grande at Ojinaga. This river replenishes the Rio Grande, which is otherwise dry at this point. The Rio Grande is dry, in fact, for the approximately 150 mile distance upstream to Fort Quitman. This stretch is now known as “The Forgotten River”, and has been taken over by the invasive tamarisk tree, with the river channel eradicated. Here, the river ran through the howling wilderness of the Chihuahuan Desert, and what’s left of it is in no need of a barrier. The 70 miles from Fort Quitman to El Paso, TX/Juarez, MX is populated, with barriers already in place where needed.

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The border leaves the river a few miles north of El Paso, and, from there, follows the southern boundaries of New Mexico, Arizona and California westward. Big Hatchet Peak is located in the bootheel of New Mexico, where, at a point about 100 miles west of El Paso, the border makes a right angle turn, to run south for 30 miles, before turning again and continuing westward, to meet the southern boundary of Arizona. This area is extremely desolate and in no need of a barrier.

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Big Hatchet Pk

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This sign says it all

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View to the east from Big Hatchet Pk. The distant range is in Mexico, with the border running north/south along the length of the intervening valley.

The last stretch of the border that Kathy and I have visited is that in the vicinity of Hereford, AZ. Here, the Huachuca Mountains rise immediately to the north of the border. Because of its proximity to Mexico, this area is famed for Mexican bird species that can be seen in few other, if any, places in the United States.

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The Arizona woodpecker is mis-named, as its range is mainly confined to Mexico. Ramsey Canyon, in the Huachuca Mountains.

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Anna’s hummingbird in December. Ramsey Canyon, in the Huachuca Mountains.

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Ramsey Canyon, in the Huachuca Mountains

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Ramsey Canyon, in the Huachuca Mountains

These mountains are known to serve as a corridor for migrants, and Border Patrol activity is evident in the area.

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Kathy and I have no direct experience of the border west of Hereford, AZ, which passes through the Sonoran Desert before it intersects (and follows for about 20 miles) the Colorado River, from San Luis, AZ, to Yuma, AZ.  From there, as the southern boundary of California, it follows a beeline to the Pacific Ocean. Again, much of the border runs through desolate and largely unpopulated terrain.

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Trump’s insistence on building a wall along the entirety of this border is nonsensical. Yes, one can make an argument for erecting barriers along certain additional high-trafficked stretches of the border, and that will certainly occur, regardless of how the current stand-off is resolved. Otherwise, I think it unlikely that Trump’s 5.7 billion dollar wall, to run along the entirety of the border, will ever see the light of day.

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Steve Miller, author of the http://www.believesteve.org blog, in the Lower Canyons of the Rio Grande, 1999. Photo by Kathy Miller.

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Kathy Miller, in the Lower Canyons of the Rio Grande, 1999.

(photos by the author except where otherwise noted)

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Heron Grabs and Swallows a Trout

Watch as this Great blue heron spots a rainbow trout, grabs it and then takes a short walk before swallowing it. Put up your volume to hear the heron vocalize after swallowing the trout. Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, near Taos, NM, 12-14-18.

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Aerials, Oakland to Phoenix, 12-29-18

Aerial photos seen in prior posts were photos taken on Southwest Airlines flights . This time I was flying American.

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Seconds after take-off. In the foreground is Bay Farm Island, to which the Oakland Airport connects. The San Leandro channel separates Bay Farm Island from the island of Alameda. In the background is Oakland. The red “X” marks the home of Kathy’s daughter, Laina Levy, and family. View to the east.

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The Port of Oakland, and the approach to the Bay Bridge.

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In the foreground is the same part of the Port of Oakland and approach to the Bay Bridge as seen above. In the middle distance is Emeryville, beyond which is Berkeley/University of California, and in the distance is the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta. View to the NE.

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The Berkeley Marina and the green rectangle of Cesar Chavez Park. Beyond is El Cerrito, Albany and Richmond. View to the NE.

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Now flying to the south. Part of Monterey Bay and Watsonville, at the mouth of the Salinas River. View to the S.

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Now flying to the southeast. The Grapevine, on I-5, south of Bakersfield. View to the S.

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The San Gabriel mountains, with the ski areas of Wrightwood on the right, and Mount San Antonio (aka Mt. Baldy) on the left. The Los Angeles basin is seen beyond. View to the S.

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Continuing to the southeast. Big Bear Lake and ski areas. Mt. San Gorgonio is seen beyond, view to the S.

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The Salton Sea, view to the SE.

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The Colorado River, where it exits the Blythe, CA area. View to the SE.

Phoenix comes up soon after crossing the Colorado River.

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Cranes at the Historic Los Luceros

How many times have I driven past the sign alongside Hwy 68 that identifies the “Historic Los Luceros”? Plenty. And how often have I visited this place? Never.

A post in Facebook Birders alerted me to the fact that a group of sandhill cranes were wintering-over on the 148 acres that make up the property, which is administered by the NM Dep’t. of Cultural Affairs. Yesterday (12-16-18) was a bright, calm and mild day, with the high temp hitting 50 degrees. I drove 15 minutes south from our place in Embudo to the ranch/historic site, which is also known as Hacienda Los Luceros. It is located on the Rio Grande, in the northern Española Valley village of Alcalde.

The drive into the property first passed through an apple orchard, with the fruit still on the trees. Eating the now fermenting apples were starlings and Lewis woodpeckers, and I stopped to photograph the latter.

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Lewis woodpecker

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Lewis woodpecker, eating a fermenting apple

The cranes were in full view, as I drove up to the parking area, but left as I pulled in. I then walked around the property, which included the original ranch house and several other buildings.

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Capilla (chapel)

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Cottonwood bosque (forest)

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Same

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Sandhill cranes

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Lewis woodpecker

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Ranch house, with huge willow tree, view to the west

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View of the Truchas Peaks, to the east

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N. Truchas Pk.

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River House

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From the River House, the Rio Grande and, to the south, the Jemez Mountains

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New Mexico olive in the foreground, and a big cottonwood

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Sculpture of old machine parts

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Old saddle

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Cart wheel

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Sandhill cranes

For me, one of the most thrilling bird experiences to be had is to see and hear sandhill cranes on the wing, and especially as they fly low overhead, preparing to land. The Sibley Field Guide to Birds describes their voice as: “A loud, resonant, wooden-sounding bugle with rattling or rolling quality”. Kathy and I first heard that bugle when we lived at the southern end of the Española Valley, in El Rancho. Come late October and November, we would hear their call and search the sky overhead to spot one or more “V”s of the birds. They would be very high overhead, as they winged their way south towards their main wintering grounds. Their wingbeat is described by the above author as a “slow rolling downbeat and quick upbeat”. It is a stately flight, with a gorgeous glide to their landing.

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Sandhill cranes on the glide, as they return to their ponds in the evening, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, San Antonio, NM

And, until two days ago, I had not known that they could be found wintering just a few minutes drive downstream from our house.

 

 

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My Fate, Your Fate

My fate is your fate

We are all fated to see humanity fail

What a weird way to go

holding hands with one another

as we hurtle from the cliff

 

There’s no way to put lipstick on this pig

no way to put a good face on it

no way to whitewash it

we’ve failed

to figure things out

failed to curtail the greed

that is the ruin of the world

 

Greed

but it’s the way of evolution

to be reproductively successful

i.e. more successful than you

to leave more offspring than you

to succeed where you fail

 

What ever happened, then, to mutual aid?

that’s evolution too

that we do well when we work as one

And it’s true,

it worked

worked to get us where we were

at the end of the last ice age

Well … what happened then?

 

Well … we changed our ways

we tried to take control

of the natural world

to enslave food

and it has brought us to this moment

where we now look over the brink

down at the rocks that await us

 

But, but … , you say

is there no turning back?

Is this really it?

Is this truly the end, such a bitter end?

 

Yes, it is the end, and I regret it no less than you

I didn’t plan for it to work out this way

I don’t want it to end this way

It doesn’t accord with my sense of who I am

the master of my fate

nor does it accord with your sense of who you are

the master of your fate

Sorry, very sorry to say, that this end doesn’t accord with our collective sense of who we are

Masters of our fates

Made in the image of God

saved by his Son

A creature like no other

given dominion over the animals

“Wise man” we have named ourselves

so full of pride and conceit

 

There’s that story about the Garden of Eden,

where man and woman were innocent and enjoyed everlasting life

And, though forbidden by God to do so,

Adam and Eve tasted the apple of the tree of knowledge of good and evil

For their disobedience, Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden and lost everlasting life

So, this is the question:

Can the apple represent anything but

man’s attempt to subjugate the natural world?

 

Those writers knew it then

Our species has sinned

Homo sapiens has lost everlasting life

Extinction by our own hand awaits us

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Costa Rica Birding South, Part 4

After two nights at the Las Cruces Field Station we traveled north, first through the town of San Vito and next down the valley of the Rio Coto Brus. That river was met by the Rio General, coming from the north, to create the Rio Terraba (which we had earlier crossed,  near its mouth, as we had driven down the Pacific coast). From the Rio Terraba, we now drove up the valley of the Rio General, passing square miles of Del Monte pineapple fields. We had twice run the Rio General 30 some years prior, with the take-out near El Brujo. After a stop at El Brujo, we continued to San Isidro, and then began the 9000′ climb over the Cerro de la Muerte (Mountain of Death). Erich told us that the route was given this name when it was a hiking trail, rather than a road, due to the fact that there were cases of people who had died from hypothermia after getting caught in bad weather at or near the top of the climb (11,500′). We stopped at Restaurante La Georgina, at 10,000′, to see what hummingbirds were in attendance at their feeders.

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The Rio Terraba, near El Brujo

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We stopped at El Brujo after the river crossing

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Same as above

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The Restaurante La Georgina

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The feeders were hung outside the windows seen here

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Lesser Violetear. Photographing a hummingbird from a few feet away allows for getting a very crisp image.

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Magnificent Hummingbird

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Female Magnificent Hummingbirds

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Volcano Hummingbird (front) and Lesser Violetear

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Volcano Hummingbird

We had stopped here 30 years before, on the way to running the Rio General.

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30 years ago it was the Restaurant Georgina …

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and had beautiful wooden floors

We crossed over the pass, which allowed us a brief look at the treeless “paramo” – but a lack of pull-outs prevented photographing the area. After a short drive downhill from the pass, we took a left onto the narrow and very windy road that descended the valley of the Rio Savegre, and arrived at the Savegre Hotel.

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We spotted this coatimundi as we neared the hotel

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It was a very nice place!

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Erich brings out the maps to our rooms

We photographed birds on the grounds of the hotel, which provided a fruit feeder, and on walks along the river.

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Our rooms fronted a bird-rich mass of foliage, including gladiolas

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Gladiola

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This Slaty Flowerpiercer went quickly from one gladiola blossom to another. Note its beak.

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Same as above

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Here it is at work, piercing a gladiola blossom at its base

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At the base of the stand of gladiolas was this Gray-breasted Wood-Wren. I looked for it after hearing its song, which is described in the guidebook this way: ” Its loud, lengthy, rollicking melody is one of the most commonly heard and attention-grabbing sounds in its habitat.”

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Acorn Woodpecker

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Yellowish Flycatcher, on an early morning walk

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Long-tailed Silky Flycatcher

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Peruvian Trumpet, in front of our room

 

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The Rio Savegre

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Same as above

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Same as above

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Same as above

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Rainbow Trout, Rio Savegre

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Tree roots, along the Rio Savegre, by Kathy Miller. Below: Movie of the Rio Savegre, by Kathy Miller.

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Spot-crowned Woodcreeper

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We left at daybreak on our first morning to hunt down the Resplendent Quetzals, and stopped at Don Raul’s establishment.

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Don Raul’s sign

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Don Raul, second from left, and the group. Success! He found the quetzals for us in trees on the steep hillside above and to the left.  Paths led to the best viewing spots.

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First, we saw this female

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Higher on the slope, another female

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Male quetzal

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Same as above, and showing his tail plumes

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Same as above

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Same as above

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Same as above

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Same as above

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Same as above. A digiscope photo with Erich’s scope and Kathy’s iPhone

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As we returned downhill, we noticed this tree being used as an acorn repository by Acorn Woodpeckers

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Greenhouse, photo by Kathy Miller

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Same as above

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Quetzal art work in progress, created from a tire, photo by Kathy Miller

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A quetzal tail plume is shown us by Don Raul, photo by Kathy Miller

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Another digiscope photo by Erich and Kathy, of a female quetzal seen along the river. Movie below: Vegetation on a fence post, by Kathy Miller

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Stained glass quetzal at the hotel, photo by Kathy Miller

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A dessert. The food was very good!

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Oak forest, by Kathy Miller

Next door to the hotel was the “Feather Garden”, with many feeders, birds and a viewing area protected from the rain.

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Feathers Garden

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This and two photos below: Baltimore Oriole

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Acorn Woodpecker

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Costa Rica’s National Bird, the Clay-colored Thrush, in the rain

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This and two photos below: Flame-colored Tanager

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Violetear Hummingbird

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Same as above

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Violetear at a very clever feeder orifice

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This and two photos below: Violetear Hummingbird

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Mountain Thrush

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This and two photos below: Rose-breasted Grosbeak

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Rufous-tailed Hummingbird

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Silver-throated Tanager and baby bird begging

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Silver-throated Tanager

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This and photo below: Tennessee Warbler

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This and photo below: Yellow-thighed Finch

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Group shot, before leaving the Savegre Hotel

Map: CR#3

As we began our return to San Jose, we made a stop at the Paraiso Quetzal Lodge.

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Distant mountain

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Kathy

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Collared Redstart

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Large-footed Finch, with worm. I looked for this bird after hearing scratching in the nearby shrubs

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Same as above

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Lesser Violetear Hummingbird

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Same as above. The bird is sitting on a sign that warns against touching the birds or using flash. 

 

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Magnificent Hummingbird

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Peruvian Trumpet

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Foxglove

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This and below: Scintillant Hummingbird

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This and photo below: White-throated Mountain-gem Hummingbird

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Hummingbirds at feeder

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Female Magnificent Hummingbird

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Tree with bromeliads. This and movie below, by Kathy Miller

Movie below by Erich Guzman.

This was our last birding stop. We then returned to San Jose, and departed for the United States the next morning. See map:

CR#4

Map of the complete trip:

CR#5

As was the case with our prior Road Scholar birding trip to Ecuador, all of our expectations were fulfilled. An element not mentioned above was that we were provided with an informative lecture about the site, at each venue. The most entertaining lecture was provided by Mariano, the owner of the Savegre Hotel. His father and uncle had discovered the valley of the upper Rio Savegre, and had both lived in a cave under a boulder for five years, while they labored to create a farm. Ultimately, the value of the valley for ecotourism was realized, and the subsequent development of the valley for that purpose has, in my opinion, been done responsibly. The valley and region is also known as “Dota” – and Dota is, no doubt, one of the finest destinations in Costa Rica. Despite strains imposed (according to our informants) by the increasing in-migration of citizens of other Central American countries, two of which are higher taxation and a shrinking middle-class, Costa Rica remains a charming and very hospitable country. “Pura vida” is how Ticos (Costa Ricans) refer to their country and sense of themselves and their lives. It was said to us on more than one occasion.

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Costa Rica Birding South, Part 3

Our next destination was the Las Cruces Field Station/Wilson Botanical Garden. What a great place!

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Our room had a bird-watching balcony …

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and was named”Orchidae”, the latin name for orchids. And had an orchid by the door!

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The flowering shrub discussed before was planted along the walkway to the rooms, here attracting a Rufous-tailed Hummingbird

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Kathy, at the Orchid Room

The Botanical Garden was a delight.

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Erich leads us through the Garden, with spotting scope on shoulder. iPad photo by Kathy Miller

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iPad photo by Kathy Miller

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iPad photo by Kathy Miller

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My version of the same tree and vine

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This, and two photos below: Heliconias

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Kathy. Seen above and beyond is the deck that held a fruit feeder and otherwise provided  a great vantage point.

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Agouti

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Bamboo

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Bananas

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Palm fruit. iPad photo by Kathy Miller.

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Bougainvillea

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Giant fern

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Kathy’s iPad version of same

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Forest, seen from the observation tower

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Same as above. iPad photo by Kathy Miller

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In the Garden. iPad photo by Kathy Miller

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Fragrant flower on a tree that leaned up against the dining hall porch

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Steve Miller. iPad photo by Kathy Miller

But what about the birds!?! A fruit feeder on the deck of the dining hall building attracted many birds.

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Bananaquit in bottlebrush tree

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Blue-crowned Motmot

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Blue-crowned Motmot

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Thick-billed Euphonia (front) and Blue-gray Tanager

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Blue-gray Tanager

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Buff-throated Saltator, in the rain

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Female Cherrie’s Tanager (front) and Blue-gray Tanager

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Cherrie’s Tanager

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Erich Guzman, in front of the feeder

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Female Green Honeycreeper

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Same as above

GreenHoneycreeperDSCN4739.jpg

Male Green Honeycreeper

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Same as above

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Same as above

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Golden-hooded Tanager

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Same as above

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Roadside Hawk

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Same as above

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Rufous-tailed Hummingbird in bottlebrush tree

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Silver-throated Tanager

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Speckled Tanager

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Streaked Saltator

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Thick-billed Euphonia

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White-crested Coquette Hummingbird (digiscope photo by Kathy Miller and Erich Guzman)

A side trip took a surprising turn. As we drove past a small farm, Erich saw the farmer cutting sugar cane and told Ricardo to pull over. The farmer had a sugar cane press right there, and we were treated to freshly-pressed sugar cane juice!

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The hand-made press

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Farmer and son cut and press cane

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The juice pours out and is filtered

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And we are served. Left to right: Carrie, Bill, Alice, Kathy, Pam, Cecilia and Rhonda. Not shown: Mary, Erich and Ricardo. The juice was delicious.

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Ricardo. The sugar cane is seen behind.

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I noticed the gentleman’s boats and we began to talk about where he went fishing. He then produced this photo of a huge snook, that he caught in the Rio Terraba.

Erich then asked him about getting access to a nearby pond. It turned out that his family owned a lot of property in the vicinity, which included the pond. We drove to their property, and then were led to the pond.

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But we didn’t see many waterbirds there

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Back-lit lizard on the far side of a leaf. Photo idea thanks to Bill.

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Beehive Ginger

More birds:

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Crested Guan

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Same as above

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Palm Tanager

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Collared Trogon

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Golden-olive Woodpecker

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Fiery-billed Aracari

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Same as above

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Crested Caracara, at perhaps a quarter-mile away

Map: CR#2

After two nights at the Las Cruces Field Station, we started our return to the north, and to the highest altitudes found in Costa Rica.

 

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