The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

October 10, 2006


Away from Iraq, Afghanistan and from Russia, where truth-telling female journalists are slain for doing their jobs too well.
Away from people using their infant babies as baseball bats and swinging them at their spouses.
Away from political systems that are perverse with runaway partisanship and policies and sexual controversies involving pages.
Away from the threat of North Korean nuclear missiles and mass murders of innocent Amish schoolgirls.
And from silly mass media inventions like Terrell Owens and Paris Hilton.
And if I could get away, this is where I would go...

This is the Andean Rainforest, where new species of birds can still be discovered (see below) and where they can still thrive and be alive without the mass interventions of higher life forms.

This is where we DON'T know everything, where we're still the interlopers and where there are not one million messages flying around in a nano-second.

Where life is still about peaceful, natural beauty.

Wonder what these winged creatures would be saying about us from their birds' eye view...

Today, I'm going to try to imagine being there, walking as silently as I can through the forest, hearing their chirps and cries and screams, taking in the quiet, simple wonder of what is still a mostly natural world.

I'll send you all postcards. I'm not bringing my laptop.

From The Associated Press

A colorful bird new to science has been discovered in a previously unexplored Andean cloud forest, spurring efforts to protect the area, conservation groups have announced.
The bright yellow and red-crowned Yariguies brush-finch was named for the indigenous tribe that once inhabited the mountainous area where it was discovered and which committed mass suicide instead of submitting to Spanish colonial rule.
For conservationists the discovery of the species came at a crucial time. Thanks in part to the discovery, the government has decided to set aside 200 hectares of the pristine cloud forest where it lives to create a national park.
"The bird was discovered in what is the last remnants of cloud forest in that region," Camila Gomez, of the Colombia conservation group ProAves, said today. "There are still lots of undiscovered flora and fauna species that live in the area."
The small bird can be distinguished from its closest relative by its solid black back and the lack of white marks on its wings.
"There are about two new birds found in the world every year," Thomas Donegan, the British half of an Anglo-Colombian research duo which discovered the bird, said today. "It's a very rare event."
To access the bird's isolated habitat, Donegan and partner Blanca Huertas regularly hiked 12 hours into the nearly impenetrable jungle, depending on helicopters to drop off supplies at mountain peaks 3,050 metres above sea level.
"We first went to Yariguies about three years ago," Donegan said. "It's a huge patch of isolated forest that no one knew about, not even in Colombia."
The new finch, the size of a fist, is native to Colombia's eastern Andean range and considered by its discoverers to be near threatened and in need of close monitoring to prevent it winding up on a list of about 100 bird species endangered in Colombia.
One of the two birds caught by the team was released unharmed after they took pictures and DNA samples, while the other died in captivity.
Donegan said this is the first time researchers were able to confirm a new bird without having to kill it.
The last new bird discovery in Colombia was a Tapaculos species found in the south last year.
With as many as 1,865 different species, Colombia has long been considered a bird watchers' paradise, albeit a risky one because of the country's four-decade-old civil war and drug trafficking.
In 1998, rebels kidnapped four American bird watchers who were later found unharmed.


  1. My escape destination would be the bottom of the ocean... deep, dark, mysterious... Did you know that the human race has conducted more exploration of space than our own oceans? We know more about the moon than about what lies beneath the waves on Earth. That appeals to me. I think I could relate to monsters of the deeps - certainly more than I can relate to most humans!

  2. Stace - do you have a hankering to see or be 'Nessie? ;).By the way, you got a mention in my blog :).

    I am very fortunate that even as I sit here I can hear birds and it is a very peaceful sound - in contrast with the whirring of the computer :).Walking through a rainforest - now there's a nice thought. Have recently put in some native trees and can't wait for them to grow - more birds will come visit.There certainly is something about watching them as they get about their business - not to mention as they take flight - that is very special.

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  4. Can I join ya to the Andean rainforests or will that spoil ur peace WW? :)

    **Away from people using their infant babies as baseball bats and swinging them at their spouses.

    I read that in the papers here and was absolutely gob-smacked! What a bimbo of a mother. Why do women like that have babies!!


  5. Geez...

    If it wasn't for my Aussie friends, I'd apparently have no friends at all!

    Guess it serves me right for serving up a bit of a negative post, but I didn't think it was THAT depressing.

    Anyhow, I'll put my smiley face back on next time...


    Now THAT would be fascinating.

    I had heard that we had explored space more than the oceans. And why? We can't breathe in space any more than we can in the ocean.

    And it costs a whole bunch more to explore the Moon, Mars, etc. I guess it's that search for other "sentient" beings...

    What kind of fish (or other kind of sea creature) would you be? I'd want to be a giant squid.


    That's a nice picture you portray, and Australia has some gorgeous birds, does it not?

    Hope your trees come in nicely and the birds follow.


    OK, I guess you're forcing me to reinstitute my password mechanism. You keep visiting and saying exactly the same thing (sigh...)


    I don't think you'd ever spoil my peace, lovely one. I've got a two-person tent, so ur welcome.

    Babies: Yeah...why?

  6. Yes, we do actually have some gorgeous birds such as rosellas. I have two that come visit my backyard each afternoon. They are always together;one never visits without the other. For fun google easern rosella/s and surely something would show up there.

  7. awwwwww ty for that! :)


  8. Great place you chose> Hope you get there someday with or without someone special.

    Now that's only a thought for me. To escape and go somewhere. But where? Outer space? I don't think I can. Wherever I go,my thoughts will follow me. How do I escape those?

  9. Lee:

    I googled rosella...what a gorgeous bird!!! One of my life's dreams is to get to Australia.

    You guys are THE hip place in the world. Everybody wants to go there, and I'm no different.


    Ur more than welcome.


    It was a fleeting thing, that post.

    Of course I'd like to get there, but I picked it (and thought up that post) only after I saw the story about this new bird discovery there, coupled with all the other shi* that was going on in the world.

    I think I'd rather revisit India or (as above, to Lee) check out Australia or Africa.

    Then there's Europe (particularly Spain), Brazil...haven't been to so many places...

    As far as your thoughts and escaping them (and I've posted a comment to your poem post), I guess you can never outrun them.

    So I guess you've got to stop thinking those thoughts or come to some sort of peace with them.

    All the best with that...

  10. You are not goin' anywhere mister!
    Why the hell are you talking about frickin'Andean rainforest birds??What the hell is wrong with our little dishwater sparrows?

    You and your AP reports what a goofball...since when do you give a rats ass about andean rainforest birds and their DNA..HAHAHA'
    You kill me.
    Do a report on nude beaches or something..
    birds schmirds!

  11. HE:

    Follow the lines...

    1. WW sees web story on new bird discovery in Andean forest.
    2. WW sees stories on Kim Il Jung, more Bush, more senate sex with pages, baby being swung at man by mother, other distressing developments.
    3. WW decides he would rather be in Andean rainforest seeing beautiful birds than hearing about world's problems.
    4. WW posts same.

    You're up late.

    Our sparrows are our sparrows, the same as Bush is Bush. It gets a little uninspiring and boring at times.


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