Sunday, November 18, 2007

Spring in the Pampas

It was odd sensation to land upside down below the equator and arrive to a vibrant spring alive and well in Southern South America. The brightly colored leaves of fall in Oklahoma, kiting the air in all their blazing glory were replaced by the soft, subtle purple and pink petals of spring perfuming the air in damp sweetness.


The Estancia El Rosario de Areco, owned by the Guevara family of Argentine polo fame, provided the perfect respite and refuge from the cold, crowded noisy Buenos Aires an hour and a half away.

Hydrangea blooms in November elicited a constant double-take.


This little falconidae, the Chimango Caracara (Milvago chimango), was a constant presence on our pampas day and always very busy building their stick nests. Without binos, scope or even my 300mm lens, I was still able to identify the Saffron Finch, Chalk-browed Mockingbird, Southern Lapwing, Greater Kiskadee and Rufous-bellied Thrush among the many, many winged creatures resplendent in both spring plumage and song.

This Australian import was one of many commonly found in the mild climate of the Argentine pampas.

Looks like good hummingbird food for any one of the eight species found here.

The Pampas are the South American equivalent of the Great Plains -- with miles and miles of prairie grassland complete with the ubiquitous herds of cattle and grazing horses. In the early 1900's Oklahomans traveled south to Argentina to teach the Europeans how to ranch in Argentina -- I wonder if this water mill an import from the Oklahoma plains.
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