“When buzzards have a choice between fresh roadkill or a decayed animal carcass, they will always choose the fresh kill.” …. eHow.com
by Jill Negronida Hampton
I’m not very comfortable with having someone clean our house but as we need Evalinda (Eve) to clean when we’re not here we have her come in one day a week even while we are here so we can hold on to her. I seem to not be able to just sit and read while she’s cleaning so if I don’t have ACTUAL work such as gardening to do, matching her, work for work to justify the situation, I feel the need to leave the property. This particular day I grabbed my book, a towel, camera and tripod and headed to the beach. Though the surf tryouts had ended, the fish were still running and thus the birds were still flocking actively. The Pacific Ocean was in a pretty mellow mood that day, a bit too calm to offer much to the surfers or a camera. I spread out a towel and settled down to read for a while. Apparently I lay there a bit too still for a bit too long.
All of a sudden there was this light tapping on the bottom of my foot. I cranked my neck around quickly enough to cause a good case of whiplash and there a few inches from my foot was a buzzard. Beyond him, his entire buzzard family was waiting to see if I was ready to be feasted upon. Indignantly I grabbed a handful of sand and tossed it at him. Ohhhh that scared him, as he backed up exactly 2” and continued to eye me, trying to determine my actual state in relationship to his family having staked out their rights to feast first. I tried to go back to reading while all the time bobbing my feet up and down to dissuade the buzzard clan. After 10 minutes I realized I had read the same 2 lines over and over again and my new best friends clearly were not going to relinquish their stake or is that steak. My mind was too distracted by my audience and the idea that “Buzzard Breathe” wanted to aerate my foot and frankly, I’m found of it as is. Sorry guys, I’m packing it in and as I’ll not be accommodating you, you’ll have to start the search for dindin over again. Luckily I was just thinking this as I glanced at the feathered clan rather than actually standing there talking out loud to them as my irritation was tempting me to do. Because right then I turned slightly and was startled to find Martin, a local guy talking to me. He had come over to point out the crocodile that was sunning itself in the estuary. I grabbed my things and relocated away from the peeking beak of my stalker but an even safer distance from Mr. Croc O. Dile.
San Pancho’s uncrowded beach is really an oasis. A very quiet and tranquil slice of paradise. Towards the south end of the mile long beach sits an estuary seperated from the Pacific Ocean by a band of sand whose measurement changes with the rains. In the rainy season, the river that feeds into the estuary fills often causing the estuary to swell and surge westward connecting with the Pacific. You can count on the estuary to be filled with a variety of birds.
Well, on this particular day the estuary had more to offer than birds. Sunning itself on a bank, which I might add was separated by a body of water from the bank I was standing on, was a crocodile. Apparently I was looking at an American crocodile. They inhabit areas where fresh and salt waters mix, called brackish water, such as coastal wetlands and canals. Crocodiles fall within an order of large reptiles that appeared some 84 million years ago. They are said to be the closest living relatives of birds. Now Mr. Croc O. Dile made for quite the cooperative model, one that proved to be oh so photogenic.
So a couple of days later, we headed down for another Sunday afternoon at the beach and guess who else was making an appearance. Despite the fact that I was making every effort to keep a safe body of water between the croc and myself, I was making a number of people quite nervous in my efforts to get more shots of my new pal. So much so that the next day I was enlightened by many facts neighbors had unearthed regarding crocodiles. Facts such as the speed at which a croc can move at whether it be on land or in the water. Also that a mother croc with a wee croc is much more aggressive. As it turns out this fact indeed did apply because after returning to the house and loading my new batch of ppictures on to my computer I realized that I had been wrong. My new friends was not Mr. Croc O. Dial but Mrs. Croc O. Dial in the comany of mini croc.