Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Month in Mexico - Violence!

When David and I first considered house sitting in Mexico for a month this summer, everyone we knew in the United States advised against it. There were government warnings, drug lords shooting it out in the streets, innocent people being slaughtered in rifle crossfire, and folks succumbing to the H1N1 flu.  Had we taken leave of our senses?  

Our friends, for the most part, were too polite to ask those particular questions, but, believe me, we could tell from the horrified expressions on their faces that those were the questions they were thinking.  I confess that, after watching the nightly news and CNN reports, David and I had a few misgivings of our own.

We've been in Ajijic for ten days now. Have we seen violence? Absolutely.  Have there been vicious attacks? On an hourly basis.  Are we afraid.  Certainly not.

The violence we've seen happens only in the garden.  

In the dry season, it's every hummingbird for himself when it comes to the sugar water.  A green-breasted hummer has an "office" in the rhododendron bush beside the feeder, and a gray-breasted hummer has set up camp on the laundry line.  From these vantage points, they dive-bomb all comers.
              David's photo of the Green Guard

It gets violent.  We've seen near misses and almost fatal collisions. When the guards have more than two hummers to deal with, they seem to forget we're sitting there, and they zip and weave inches away from our heads.  We're grateful there have been no fatalities.

Still, at some point, the guards become overwhelmed and temporarily give up.  At those times, the hummers--eight or ten of them--swarm the feeders making happy clicking noises and seemingly standing on their feet in mid-air waiting their turn at the yellow plastic rosebuds.  David and I know it won't last though.  As soon as the crowd disappears, the guards set up camp again ready to protect their territories--no matter what it takes.  It's only a matter of time before things get ugly again.

So, that sums up the violence we've seen in Mexico.  Sure, the border cities have their share of crime, but so do New York and Los Angeles. We're a thousand miles from the border cities, so David and I figure that as long as we keep our distance in the garden, we don't have a thing to worry about.
To see my You-Tube video of the hummer violence, click here.

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