In morning winds the birds work south. They surf the surface
waiting for a small disturbance from below and take advantage of
the bait, sardines or mackerel which rise to a distance where
the birds can strike, capture and consume them.
The pelicans, seagulls and boobies prefer a small point to the
south of our house. It's rocky there, small worn and
rounded rocks, snuggled amidst the sand, and the point protrudes
out a hundred meters or so into the south end of Bahia de Los
Angeles in the Sea of Cortez. Small fishes collect amongst the
rocks for perceived protection. It doesn't work but
that's genetics and you can't change it. At
least not yet. What has caused the survival of the fittest
continues. Considerations for other species may have been
omitted from this equation.
The birds soar and swirl and wait for the small fish to break
the surface and then plunge from a hundred feet or more above
the sea surface with an intensity that seems like it would break
their necks. Pelicans in particular with their extended
protuberances. But up they pop, throw their beaks back to
swallow and head off into the next pass undeterred.
When we catch fish, from our boat or shore, we bring them in
whole to prevent spoilage and a mess on the tiny boat. A small
cleaning table is situated next to the boat ramp. As
it's within the federal zone, along the water, it
belongs to everyone which is the way we like it anyway. When we
or others clean fish there the birds collect. Gulls are the
noisy ones; the pelicans are more stately, seemingly dignified.
They all wait for a morsel of gut. If you throw it into the air
the gulls will catch it almost every time. The pelicans wait for
the larger pieces of flesh thrown on the ground.
It's sad to destroy a life; a fish in this story. While
I know, at least I feel in my ignorance that many classes of
less intelligent animals don't have "family
values," I do know that nothing in Baja California goes
to waste. I'd have to back up on that statement to think
about oil products, plastic in particular, which are damaging
our whales and dolphins. Otherwise, every element I can imagine
that offers nutrition is fully utilized and returned to the
planet in another form. To be consumed again. The
often-discussed second harvest of the 1700 Indian bands,
rancherias, that foraged seeds from their own aging fecal matter
and ground them into meal is an issue, not a pleasant one to
consider but an example of the point on utility.
The birds continue baiting. The small sand crabs are working
dead snails for entrails. The wind rises and shifts and all of
us animals on the beach are influenced. All of this is in my
mind as I am 600 miles north of my heart. But I am home with my
children and on a holiday celebrated in the United Stated of
America known as Thanksgiving is a day away and we want to share
that day with Kevin and Michael.
From our small rented orchard property avocados and lemons are
provoked by a strong east wind, called Santa Ana's just
a bit south where the momentum of Los Angeles needs to invoke
terms with greater pictorials. The small trees, lemons, and the
grander ones, avocados, are busy understanding and learning from
their uncontrollable environment tonight. The winds buffet the
trees fruits from their thin branches. The fruit falls to the
ground. It seems like such a waste; but wait, I ask myself.
The fruit falls to the earth like the reverse process of the
bait jumping above the surface of the waters to serve the birds
of the Sea of Cortez. The gulls and pelicans benefit from the
bait. The small land animals, mice, rats, even our dogs benefit
from the droppings of the orchards here. The remaining elements
of these activities, it seems to me in ignorance, go downstream
to support additional growth on our small Earth that we need to protect.
While I'm not educated or experienced on what it all
takes, I do know that working together and paying attention fits.
It all happens in cycles. We just need to listen I think to myself.