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2013's trip to Ixtapa, Mexico, begins with collecting sea shells and discarded lobster shells. When I found this shell, the ligament things were still soft, and the antennae still moved in their joints, flopping up and down. I walked around regaling the kids with the life-like movement, and strangers were stopping to watch the curiosity, wondering whether or not I was holding a live critter.

I had to decide what position to dry them in … I chose to dry them in the middle between extended fully up and flopped fully down.

Went to the wildlife sanctuary, Popoyote Lagoon, in the morning and then remembered that the iguanas don’t wake up until afternoon. Will try again for them, but meanwhile the egrets were out in full force.

Egret. Popoyote Lagoon, Playa Linda, Ixtapa, Mexico.

Egret. Popoyote Lagoon, Playa Linda, Ixtapa, Mexico.

If you look at last year’s photos, you’ll see a number of sizable crocodiles. This year a new member of our party inadvertently found himself inside the fence with the crocs!  This is what I invariably love about not-America … the awesome lack of safety precautions. No, I’m not being facetious. I really do like that you are responsible for your own self and aren’t sequestered behind a 20-foot high chain link razor wire laser-patrolled hoopla fence and 80-foot-wide moat, required to wear full-body armor and titanium helmet, and asked to sign a 30-page waiver. You just walk up, and if there’s a human-sized break in the fence, you can walk through. Likewise, for the crocs inside, if you come to the end of the river and you can manage to squeeze yourself underneath the flimsy fence, then go ahead and swim on out to the ocean to scare the bajeezus out of tourists frolicking innocently in the typically-non-croc-infested sea water. I love it. I kind of wish it had been me inside the fence, and now that I know how to get in there I’m tempted to “stumble” in, but of all the things I’ve thought about being carved into my tombstone, “eaten by a croc while on vacation” isn’t one I’m super keen on.

The highlight of the day in terms of sightseeing was watching the pelicans dive-bomb the water for their lunch. Swarms of pelicans came into this one spot … soaring majestically high above the water, circling, circling, then suddenly tilting to a 45-degree angle toward the ground, folding in their wings and increasing the angle to near-vertical to pierce the water’s surface with their beak, submerging their entire head for a moment, to pop up after a couple seconds as calm as if they were merely dipping chips in salsa for lunch. Ho hum.

Seagulls diving into the ocean for fish. Playa Linda, Ixtapa, Mexico.

Seagulls diving into the ocean for fish. Playa Linda, Ixtapa, Mexico.

I’m a little bummed it’s not colder back at home … the days preceding my departure for Mexico were largely marked by highs in the single digits. My house-sitter reports today it was in the 50s. What the? I’m one of those mean people who wishes to leave the worst weather behind, nuts to my friends and family who have to suffer it while I’m basking in the warmish-hot 80+-degree Mexican sunshine. ha ha ha. Suckers! The revenge for such a selfish attitude is that no one ever actually suffers … the surest way to bring beautiful weather to my home town is to go on vacation where the weather is perfect.

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