Archive for February, 2013

From comic to tragic.

From comic to tragic.

While I was drawing the comic above I looked up to see huge plumes of smoke billowing up over the hill above us to the East. It is not uncommon for people to burn garbage or yard waste but this looked blacker and more sinister. It was difficult to tell exactly where it was coming from, but it looked close. Fearing that our friends’ (Gordon and Cara) house might be affected we jumped in the car and motored over to their place. From the vantage point of their hill we could look down on the fire below, see the flames and hear the crackle and pop of palm trees being consumed like dandelions in a blowtorch. It was frightening and seemed to cover about a quarter mile as it approached the town of Todos Santos.
Hotspot one. Click to enlarge.

Hotspot one. Click to enlarge.

Hotspot Two

Hotspot Two

We returned home to find the power out. After a while we decided to drive into town to see what was happening. The smoke seemed to be thinning out a bit and what little there was was white and not the ominous black we’d seen earlier. When we got to town all roads leading to La Paz were blocked off, traffic was being redirected by Federales wearing smoke masks. We drove around a while looking for a vantage point to see the affected area without getting in the way but to no avail. We settled for checking in at the Distillery to see if we could hear some news, rumors or gossip. We learned little more than that three or more palapa roofs, one right across the street from where we sat drinking a peyote pale ale, had been ignited by sparks or large flying fragments of burning vegetation. La Gara, a popular sports bar a couple blocks East had been severely damaged. If the fire had not been put out in a timely fashion by the brave bomberos it could have damaged a good portion of the commercial heart of the town. We still do not know the details from the areas most affected, but rumor has it that there was no loss of life, and for that we are very thankful.

By the time we ate dinner and returned home the power had been restored. Thus I am able to post this. It has been an exciting and stressful day. Little did I know that the high winds I referred to comically above would be the major culprit in the quick spreading of a major fire.



Posted: February 28, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Hooded Oriole, Male

Hooded Oriole, Male

Baja is a land of many colors: purple, red, or orange bougainvilleas, blue skies, red sunsets, green palms. But when it comes to birds, not so much. Even the hummingbirds are rather drab here (with one exception that I haven’t been able to identify yet). The only avian standout, at least in my yard, is the hooded oriole. He and his mate can be heard rustling around in the palms near our garage; I don’t know if they have a nest there. They come out foraging for sweeties occasionally, to supplement their diet of fruit and bugs. They are partial to the nectar found on the flowering stalks of our aloe vera plants, of which there are about thirty around the property. The aloe flowers are yellow and so are the orioles.
aloe vera

aloe vera

Even back in Monte Rio we get an occasional visit from the hooded oriole. He looks rather comical trying to get a bit of nectar from the hummingbird feeder.



Actually, there are a couple more I want to see tomorrow, "Carriere" and "Among Wolves"...hee, hee.

Actually, there are a couple more I want to see tomorrow, “Carriere” and “Among Wolves”…hee, hee.



Try iy, you'll like it!

Try iy, you’ll like it!

And we ate at a place Gail has wanted to try since last year’s visit, La Casita Tapas and Wine Bar. They have a good deal more than tapas and wine. As a matter of fact Gail had a sushi dish called “Sexy” ( I also answer to that name) and I had Mahi Mahi on a bed of mashed potatoes (sounds like a dreamy place to sleep) with really scrumptious sauce.
Call me sexy, just don't call me late to dinner.

Call me sexy, just don’t call me late to dinner.

The highlight of the meal, though the food was excellent, was an adult beverage called a pineapple basil mojito. I was so delighted with this drink that I looked like this.
And it's good for you, too!

And it’s good for you, too!

Both the waiter, Pablo, and the owner, Sergio, were friendly, attentive, and in Sergio’s case very generous indeed. Besides enjoying the delicious meal and new (to us) drinks, we went away with bags of complimentary veggies from Sergio’s garden.
Sergio shares his bounty with us. Bounty sharing is good.

Sergio shares his bounty with us. Bounty sharing is good.

Sergio and his daughter who says "How are you doing?" in English.

Sergio and his daughter who says “How are you doing?” in English.

So another blessed good day in paradise is logged into the books.