Nature – Googled

I might not be able to find any frogfish or any seahorses when we dive – the two iconic marine species on Bonaire’s reefs. On the way to the marina showers this morning though, there were a number of parakeets squawking hello. They come every morning to sit in the sea almond trees by the tiny swimming pool that is too small for swimming but fills in the afternoons with cruisers having a bath.

The birds are brown-throated parakeets. I googled it. They closely resemble Bonaire’s endemic yellow shouldered parrot, but with longer tail feathers and a darker head. The parakeets squawk away in the early sun and then disappear until sunset.

It’s sunset about now. I’ve just come out of the marina entrance. A flock of these parakeets are flying overhead. Where are they going? To roost somewhere in Bonaire’s dry forests apparently. I googled that too. In the morning they turn back up in the sea almond trees. We hear them making a happy racket.

It’s comforting to think how all our fellow animals on this planet and of course the plants, don’t give a single fig about this virus. They don’t need to worry about economies, politics or the lack of commercial aircraft in the sky. Nothing has changed for them – except for a reduction in human activity. A win-win really.

After watching the green parakeets, I came out of the marina showers and found a little speckled gecko just by the gates to our pontoon. It is called the Ruthven’s anole and is a subspecies endemic to Bonaire. It wasn’t scared of me coming close. It just sat there, soaking up the sun.

And, as I walk out of the marina now, there’s about twenty flamingos in the distance. They gather in the salt lagoon across the road from the marina. I never thought I’d be complacent about seeing flamingos. But the truth is, I don’t bat an eyelid anymore, except to note how perfectly pink they are – even from far away.

Flamingos have the weirdest knees. I’m not even sure you would call them knees. They bend so they must be some kind of articulating joint. They’re like long, pink sticks that somehow move against each other without being tied together.

Ok, I just googled it! Flamingo knees are actually their ankles. Their knees are much farther up, hidden under their feathers. Under their ankle-knees, they have elongated heels. Thank goodness for Google. We might have an old-fashioned pandemic, but at least we are going through this with internet. Those poor old Spanish flu people. They had nature too.

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