Rick Wright

Here in the northern reaches of our continent, east is east and west is west, and conjunctions like Black-throated Green Warbler and, say, Hermit Warbler are rare and wondrous. But as the slender waist of Central America narrows, the oceans draw nearer to each other, and the full feathered glory of the vastnesses of Canada and the US mingle with the tropical creatures of birders’ dreams. There really is no east, no west, for “our” birds in the winter, and the unexpected constellations we encountered again and again reminded us just how different our mental atlantes are from the living landscapes they claim to retrace.

I’ll be writing about Guatemala these next few days, with a few pictures, too. Behind the words, behind the images, I’ll be hearing what I hope you can imagine: the incisive tseeps of elegant gray-clad Tennessees and the metallic chips of their colorful western cousins, familiar birds in unfamiliar conjunction, providing the background and the soundtrack to tropical adventure.

Guatemala seems to be taking advantage of its chance to do it right. Inevitably, there are pressures for ‘development’, but admirably, enviably, there are also careful and concerted efforts for conservation, so that the resources the country is so richly blessed with are preserved for the enjoyment, the nourishment even, of residents and visitors both.