It was early evening in the Spring of 1973, when I first arrived at the plaza in San Blas, Nayarit, on a rickety old bus. As the bus groaned to a stop, a most unusual sound, one I had never before heard, filled the air of the then sleepy little village. There was a tree next to the bus, and what seemed like hundreds of Chanates, or boat-tail grackles, were going to roost. I fell in love with the screeching, clicking, mechanical, whistling, robotic din made by these birds. They are the main reason I returned recently to San Blas. I was delighted to find that they now cover the rooftops and fill the trees all around that plaza.

I was wandering the back streets of San Blas, when I caught this Chanate, lifting off.

Speaking of lifting off, or taking flight, that's what I did the day before yesterday. Now I'm sitting in front of the fireplace with the lovely Thea in our home in Ranchos de Taos, resting up for my next adventure.



  1. Glad you made it back home safely. Did you miss the cold front that came through? There was sfrost or snow on the mountain tops around SMA, but back,to 70 today.

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