Birds, paint & plague

Playground of the orioles.

SPRINGTIME, THOUGH we’re not officially in springtime yet, brings birds to the Hacienda, pretty birds and fun ways to watch them.

It began three days ago. In the early mornings, between 7 and 8, I’m generally upstairs checking out the woeful state of the world via the internet. There’s a bank of windows just beyond my desk, and they open to the upstairs terraza.

orioleHanging out there, pure decoration, are two large balls made of straw or something like a thick vine. The larger is about 18 inches across. It’s the big one that’s become a post-dawn playground to black-vented orioles.

They fly under the glass roof and at the top of the ball is an opening through which the orioles, two of them, descend into the ball, flit about inside, and then depart to climb around the outside of the globe. This goes on for a minute or two, and they leave.

Three days in a row now, about 7:30 or so. They have a schedule.

This morning I tried to sneak to the door with my camera, but orioles are cautious, unlike house sparrows and hummingbirds which are fine with human company, and when I merely stood up from my desk, the orioles fled, lickety-split.

The Downtown Casita’s new look.

We’ve gussied up the Downtown Casita, a fresh coat of light yellow and an artsy circular stairway from the balcony to the roof. The twirly design is the same we have on the stairwell inside the Hacienda. I found that style online years ago.

The ironwork was done by a young, very talented and artistic blacksmith. That would cost a small fortune above the Rio Bravo if you could even find someone who could do it.

It’s available for vacation rentals, plus we house visiting relatives occasionally, which comes in handy because Mexicans have lots of relatives, and they like to visit.

* * * *

Moving on to the spreading plague of coronavirus that is leaving millions dead in its wake worldwide. No? Well, okay, but it’s scaring plenty of people.

We have very few cases in Mexico, about eight, last I heard. Just south of us, Guatemala and El Salvador are quarantining themselves. El Salvador will let no foreigners enter for the next month. Guatemala is barring people who’ve been in China.

Here in Mexico, on the other hand, our nincompoop leftist president is doing next to nothing. On the contrary, he’s sticking with his hug approach, the one he extends to narcos. He always favors hugs, he says. Narcos, plague? No matter, he wants to hug.

Leftists love hugs because it distracts you while your pocket is picked.

Don’t fault me. I voted for the other guy. Maybe the other guy was corrupt. Who knows? But at least he wasn’t a nincompoop.

26 thoughts on “Birds, paint & plague

  1. Orioles like oranges. Hang a couple of orange halves on a length of coat hanger wire and see what happens. We get them occasionally though, like you say, they are very skittish. Quite a few mockingbirds too. But mostly swarms of sparrows.


    1. Señor Lanier: We have a small orange tree in the yard, so maybe that will work. Mockingbirds? I don’t recall ever seeing a mockingbird here where I am. Back in Houston, they were all over the place.


  2. Well, I see the debate in Arizona is now off, or rather it will take place without an audience, and it will be in a studio in Washington, D.C.

    Better get busy making those masks. This stuff is going everywhere.


        1. Señor Gill: There is nothing in this post about politics (except my calling our Mexican president a nincompoop) or the stock market, etc. Please stick to the topic at hand. Thanks in advance.


    1. Andean: No name that I know of, but I like it a lot. The blacksmith who did it is very talented.

      Don’t know why your comment went to the moderation file. I didn’t do it. Maybe it’s because you’ve been quiet so long, or maybe you used a new email address. That will trigger it. In any event, nice to hear from you, as always.


      1. Gracias. Life sometimes gets busier than usual. Just came back from Oregon visiting my daughter and family. As a side comment, going there at the end of February, an almost empty plane, just got back a few days ago. Plane was about 90% full, probably because they canceled several flights.

        If one hasn’t commented in a long time it goes to moderation. That has been my experience. Same email address.


  3. The ironwork at the casita looks amazing. Nice to have a place to stash the relatives when they’re in town. Up here the freaking out of Coronavirus is on an epic scale. Toilet paper of all things can’t stay on the shelves. I don’t remember the swine flu being this crazy but it is an election year.


    1. Thirsty: I’ve been reading about the toilet paper thing. What’s up with that? Well, we still have plenty of toilet paper down here, Plus, no one is hysterical about the coronavirus because there are so few cases here. May it stay so.

      I’m writing this at 7:02 a.m., and the first oriole just arrived out at the big ball on the terraza. Weird. Fourth day in a row. I hope no one is thinking of building a nest in that thing because I’ll have to disabuse them of that notion.


  4. I have always liked that metal-work design. And I like the stairway to the top story even more. I climbed the old ladder a couple of times to get shots of your burg. It is a great view up there.

    As for the coronavirus hysteria, I shot my wad on it over at Al’s blog. Certainly, it is serious. Colds are serious. Flu is serious. Or both can be, depending on your demographic. I am glad to be back here where life’s topes are not treated as China walls.


  5. Corona beer was on sale at the liquor store today. Apparently, sales are way down.

    I’ve always liked spiral staircases. Yours looks great. Just hope you don’t have to move a couch or a grand piano up them. We love watching birds as well. Instead of Orioles we’ve got seagulls, crows, pigeons and the odd heron and eagle. Being up on the 20th floor we don’t have to look up at them. The seagulls nest on the top of our building, the eagles try to steal their eggs, and the pigeons are a nuisance. If you can figure out a way to keep them from pooping on your balcony I’m sure you’d make millions. And forget the fake owls. They don’t work at all.


    1. Brent: I’ve read about people avoiding Corona beer due to its name, and that’s about the most boneheaded thing imaginable.

      As for moving a couch or piano to the Downtown Casita’s roof, I doubt that will ever happen, but if it does, we’ll hoist them up there somehow. Mexicans can do anything.


  6. Señor Felipe, please be advised that out here on the Texas frontier most of us old folks are moving forward without fear of the current plague. This lack of hysteria should be no surprise to those who lived with expectation of being immediately fried by Ruskie Atomic Bombs back in our primary school days. One who, as a young child, lives the “duck and cover” lifestyle is not easily pushed to levels of uncontrolled hysteria.

    There are some here who have panicked and cleaned the store shelves of toilet paper, but I’m certain that’s the younger folks. Nobody seems quite sure what they’re going to eat while hunkered down for months or years to avoid death by plague.

    Most of us find it best to avoid the media reports and Facebook.


    1. Ricardo: A wise approach, as ever. The media are blowing this to extremes. Well, I hope so anyway.

      Our stores still have toilet paper. But when we go to Costco on Tuesday, I do intend to buy one of their bales. You know, just in case.


  7. I predict all those leftist Gringos in San Miguel de Allende will be hoarding items from the locals any day now.


    1. Thirsty: Leftist Gringos in San Miguel? I think you’re being redundant. Aren’t all Gringos in San Miguel leftist? I think so, and I think you are right too. They’ll soon have all the toilet paper in their closets, and we poor Mexicans will be wiping ourselves with newsprint and corncobs.


        1. Andean: Well, sure, husks are preferred, but if you’re out in the sticks with the hillbillies, you have to use what’s available, and that may be corncobs. It provides an interesting sensation … I’ve been told.


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