November 12, 2008

Bugs, Flowers, Birds

One of the exciting things about living in the tropics is the constant reaffirmation of Lubarsky's Law of Cybernetic Entomology:

There's always one more bug.

Take this guy for example.

He flew in the window the other night and circled clumsily around the ceiling light until I captured, photographed and tossed him back outside. Just look at the size of those snoutwhiskers (I know, I'm such a budding entomologist). That he can even fly I'd think violates the basic laws of physics. But what do I know about physics.

I also know nothing about flowers.

In a recent email circulating among friends (one of those silly questionaires where you fill in the responses and send it back to the person who sent it to you) I said my favorite flower was a gladiolus. I know nothing about gladiolus.

Except that when we went up to our land at the crack of dawn a few weeks ago to meet a man about a tractor, they were blooming all over the place. All over the area we were about to plow under. If I'd known they were there, or even though about it, I would have dug the bulbs up. If I'd had a shovel. As it was I barely had time to run skelter around our future front yard, cutting them down, ahead of the oncoming tractor beast.

C supervised the tractor getting stuck in the mud, and I, at 7am (NOT a morning person) in 50 degree rain with a fistful of gladiolus and wet socks, went into the house, set up the damp tent and crawled inside and shivered, cursing that I hadn't brought a thermos of coffee or even a blanket to put between me and the cold floor.

The sun came out about 2pm, and we decided to treat ourselves to an overnight stay at our favorite inn in the village. As we sat on the porch, we saw a bunch of parrots making a feast out of some berries on a nearby tree.

They're called maritakas and are pretty common. (You can click on the pic to see them better -- don't you just love that little guy in the corner?) They almost always come in twos and they squawk and make a terrible and annoying racket. There's an expression (sexistly, usually applied to women) that two people carrying on in a loud conversation are a couple of maritakas.

Interestingly, there are large flocks of a similar species living in Brooklyn. The story goes that they either stowed away on a ship coming from South America, or got loose after having been shipped north as pets. Either way, they adapted, multiplied and became famous, or infamous, residents of Flatbush and around Brooklyn college.

My friend Dz gave me a great parting gift when we packed up -- her painting of one of the Monk Parrots of Brooklyn College. It sits on my desk. I like it there because it reminds me of her and of what I still sometimes find myself referring to as "home."

She attached a note saying she hoped I'd feel just as at comfy in my new digs as the South American parrots do in Brooklyn. Most of the time I do. And it's nice to remember I'm not the only one with the Brooklyn/Brazilian connection. I wonder if the Brooklyn College parrots long for Brazil sometimes. Maybe I can work out some kind of time swap with them.

1 comment:

RosenWager said...