Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chapter 73 - The Wake

     On our drive into Poas this morning, we saw a wake.  This is what a group of vultures is called, and a wake it was. (Cool name, but a little on-the-nose—Mel) There must have been between 25 and thirty of the large birds gathered in the middle of the road.  We slowed down to approach them slowly so we wouldn't distract them.  Another vehicle and a bus and a dog from our side approached, so the birds scuttled to the side of the road. Some flew into the trees near the road, and some hop-skipped into an adjoining coffee field.  We had to do some juggling to get by the vehicles and the mess in the road, but we were on our way into town to do some business at the bank.
     On the way home, there were still a lot of the birds in the road. We were in the only car around, so we sidled up to them and Mel took some pictures. There birds were trying to feast on some bones and skin that had been scattered in the road.  It was quite a mess, but they will eventually clean it up.  I wrote about the clean up committees at the beginning of this blog.  There was also a mutt dog who was trying to get a share of the spoils. (Note: the following day the road crud was completely gone. Thank goodness for Zopilotes – that is the Costa Rican much prettier name for vultures—Mel.)    I have no idea who or what left the bone debris on the road. It may have fallen from a truck, but I don't have any idea what kind of truck.  Today isn't garbage day in this vicinity.
     When one watches these ugly birds in flight, one would think they were extremely elegant, but on the ground, all of their homely features are exposed.  There is some good in most things,  and these birds are champions of the cleaning committee. They have been flying in the area since the sugar cane was harvested across the road.  Speaking of the cane, some of the fields are in two month regrowth, and are already up to four feet.  This is such a terrific crop.  It regrows from the root and must provide nearly three crops a year.  We have been here five months now, and have seen the majority of the growth, then the harvest and now the regrowth of the cane fields. 
     I have notices a few farmers have plowed their fields and incorporated the fibers of the cane into the ground, but it isn't the normal way.  Also, there are a few places that I have seen them use sprinklers for irrigation, but that is rare.  Mostly, they rely on the rainfall for their irrigation.
     We are beginning the rainy season now.  It is early May and the start of the winter season.  That sounds funny to me because it is hot and humid.
     My original IBM laptop gave up the ghost this week. It had been fussy for a while and Mel says it was very old for a computer, so I am trying to type on a little notebook.  It isn't perfect.....

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