Friday, April 27, 2007

Of jaguars and piano cats

Mexico is host to approximately 10% of all plant and animal species in the world. All those years I lived this || far from Mexico, and traveling into that country frequently, though mostly in the border towns. Places like Matamoros ... Nuevo Laredo ... Juarez. Places that, in spite of their physical beauty and cultural richness, I mainly rememeber for their poverty and violence. And people. Masses of people everywhere. The only animals I can associate with time spent in Mexico are the mental images I have of fly-covered cabrito in the open-air markets or the little carved onyx trinkets I bought: a bear, a burro, a turtle, some horses.

Among the thousands crossing the border from Mexico into the US, stealthy shadowy immigrants rarely seen, though, were jaguars. And ocelots. I'm thrilled to have discovered today, while saving the rain forests with just the click of a mouse, the jaguars of the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve.

As I understand it, Friday cat blogging is supposed to be all about taking one day off and lightening up from the angst of political blogging. As you can see, I have trouble leaving politics out of most anything. But now, in the true spirit of Friday cat blogging, I present: Nora.


Archaeopteryx said...

Both cats are cool. I have a friend who did some work attempting to document the jaguars crossing the border into southern Arizona. She was utterly unsuccessful.

You've also missed the best part of Mexico. Get away from the border--see Jalisco or Durango, or especially, Colima. The people are beautiful (in every way), and the countryside, although extremely damaged, still holds biological wonders.

hipparchia said...

the road trip i've always wanted to make, with appropriate sude excursions, of course.

thanks for the recommendations. i'll remember them.

hipparchia said...

stoopid defective keyboard

Anonymous said...

You can skip Baja, unless you surf, it's desert away from the coast.

If you surf there are good waves in and round Scorpion Bay, but it's getting touristy.

I'm not a surfer, but my nephew is and I spent a lot of time down there fixing whatever he drove so he could get back to San Diego. It was strictly camping back in the 1990s, but hotels have sprung up.

hipparchia said...

hey, bryan!

wow, you're right. my brother's the surfer in the family, but i'm nutty about beaches, and deserts are gorgeous, though they can be challenging to travel in. i have always wanted to see at least some part of baja california.

[sigh... ] so many places to visit, so little time...