Hey, you, on the island of Ometepe, among the twin explosive breasts of conceiving and wood
(the latter petrified),
You, among the tourists farmers plaintains parrots
(counting any of the last whose napes are yellow)
You, the weird, wired Amazon princess,
You, with the out-of-season breeding season, standing in the feeding area where divergent cycles coalesce,
Winging it
Conversing with the devil
Rising predawn
Drinking coffee damp
Swimming to get dry
Uniformly recounting accounting:
I cannot open my mouth to preach a single word.
How does your sermon flow effortlessly endlessly?
How can the rain reach land?
How can anything be missing?

White Plains, NY 2013.10.27

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Written on a Sunday night, after a morning preaching, in reply to this email from LoraKim, gone to Nicaragua:

I am missing you this Sunday! I'd like you to be here experiencing this place and I would also like to be with you on a Sunday after you finish your work there.

It is Sunday here on the Island of Ometepe - we got here yesterday around noon and it was a long day, but very interesting.

This is an island with two volcanoes on it - concepcion and madera.  Only concepcion is active right now. It is a tourist place and also a place of agriculture - mostly plantains.  The highlight for the day for me was to get out and do a count of the loros with the local biologists - love to see the yellow napes. There are a lot of parrots here and that was great to see so many conures and parakeets and amazons.  But the amazons were acting wierd. They were flying around as singles, which is what they do in breeding season, which isn't supposed to start until January. Then I saw one pair where the female went into spend the night in a cavity - just like breeding season Then a whole bunch of birds were flying around in pairs like it was not breeding season.  My brain couldn't figure it out - how could it be breeding season?  Then a local poacher this morning told us that in this small lowland area the amazons do breed this time of year, but up on the volcanic slope they breed later.  So what I saw makes sense - two different populations feeding in the same area but with different breeding  cycles.  It's so interesting that Andrea and I will stay over the next 2 nights to study the birds. We can walk to the count area from the hotel, which is by a warm, huge lake.

This morning we got up at 4:30 a.m. to count birds in the steady rain. No much activity but we got good and wet before heading back for coffee.  Then we went on a hike to see an ecotourist place with petroglyphs, and then a swim in the lake while our clothes dry out. Now it's time to don "the uniform" and go count birds again. Does any of this sound fun? I love trying to figure out the brains and behavior of birds...So I'll have internet for 2 more days at least! How is your day going?

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