South American Birds

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There are hummingbirds that spend their summers in China and their winters in South America. Down in Southern Arizona one year a licensed guide failed to deliver any deer and felt obligated to show us where hummers were thick. It was in a large, gentle swale with three different kinds of cactus in bloom at the same time.

Hummers were so thick that I could have reached out my hand blindly and knocked 2 or 3 of them over. There were hundreds of them! We stayed right there for several hours as our guide regaled us with his adventures in that area. He swore he had seen a jackalope out there when he had been on a field trip for big horn. I had noticed one big horn behind me, and then two more. They were out of season of course and it is strange how they know when you can’t hunt them.

The lore of the land called me to long walks in my youth. I have seen things that shall never be seen again and I have seen the first of many birds and animals coming up from the south like an invasion that nobody saw or believed. I have never seen a jackalope but I did find a rack that would have fit one. There wasn’t enough of the skull left to tell what kind of animal it had been. Another licensed guide in that area swore he too had seen a jackalope. I had known him for 12, 15 years — long enough to know he was not the kind of man for idle words. It was the kind of night for secrets, strange animals we had seen and one city in a strange place. The next day he showed me the city and I delivered us to a natural water ketch he had not found before. He promised me he would get it approved to be built even bigger and better.

Another licensed guide in that area swore he too had seen a jackalope. I had known him for 12, 15 years — long enough to know he was not the kind of man for idle words. It was the kind of night for secrets, strange animals we had seen and one city in a strange place. The next day he showed me the city and I delivered us to a natural water ketch he had not found before. He promised me he would get it approved to be built even bigger and better.

Then I showed him a massive boulder that I thought was a manmade ketch as it had 5 or 6 deep holes about the size for an ahautumn tomahawk to fit in. I had found water there often in those holes. But he said, no it was a place for grinding maize. So both of us came away much richer in lore. I have often wished I had told him about the place where I had found dozens and dozens of metates in good shape. I just didn’t think of it, the night wasn’t long enough. I believe that was a very large city once and Ed was just the man to get it on the register to be excavated.

We had found much pottery in that area too. One pot area Chkatyd and I found was 12 feet deep. It was all busted stuff but Chkatyd liked nothing better than to sit and fit shards together with glue until he had a perfect pot. they wouldn’t hold water, mind you, but that was just a minor detail.

 

 

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