Buscando la codurniz primero–1

I am back in Alamos.  I arrived on Sunday evening at 10:30 at night.

I drove down from Tucson Arizona and crossed the border at Nogales. I left Tucson at 8:30 am but, as is often the case, was held up at the border.  Despite the assertions by the rental car agency that I would have no trouble getting a permit for the car, in fact, I did have trouble.  Namely because the piece of paper upon which permission was granted me to drive the car into Mexico did not contain anything that directly linked it to the rental car contract, other than my name of course.

the communication…is beyond the language of the living

A solution was found for me, and in all, processing my documents only took about an hour.  Unfortunately, I was behind (in the various lines in which I found myself–first to get the FMM, then to pay for the visa, then to get the visa, then to copy the documents, then to pay for the car permit, then to talk to customs, then to pay for the car permit once customs had ok’d the permit)–a couple from Canada, driving south to Mazatlan in an RV, trailer and two jetskis in tow.  The jetskis were the problem–they did not have a registration that was amenable to the authorities at the border despite the fact they’d apparently made the same trip, in the same manner, last year.  Whatever the issue, it took several hours in various lines, me always waiting behind them, to sort out their issue and send them on their way.

to be modern is to live a life of paradox

The toll roads between Nogales Mexico and Navajoa are recently revamped four lane highways and the drive, in general, was easy.  The one difficult stretch was between Ciudad Obregón and Navajoa, where extensive work is being done on the road.  I was unfortunately driving this road after dark which meant that the sudden revisions where the road curved abruptly and went from four lane divided to two lane no division were announced by a host of flashing lights and arrows.

the fool steps out of his image

I was more nervous about driving the road from Navajoa to Alamos at night, but this was easy and lovely in the dark.  I was also concerned that I would have trouble driving into town as I’d never driven myself in—however, having walked the road many times to the hotel La Casa de Los Tesoros it was surprisingly automatic.

lights a candle in bright sunlight

I arrived late, but a room was waiting in the old colonial Mansión–owned by Suzanne who also owns the Casa de los Tesoros, where I stayed last time.  I am currently in the Tesoros waiting on the owner of a ranch.  I’ll be heading out there to stay for the next few days.

if the fool would persist in his own


Here I will, if I am particularly fortunate, locate the quail and will take observations and possible, if I am even more fortunate, band and measure individuals.  The most fortunate would be to then observe the same individuals again, at least one more time but I suspect that is far far too much to hope for.

he would become wise

It is warm and beautiful here but there are no quail.  On the ranch there are quail, of course, and cattle, but also magpie-jays, crested caracara, coati, mule deer, ocelot, and even jaguar.  On my return to the pueblo in a few days I will tell you what it is I have found.

One of the forms of my dreams was you

quotes are from William Blake, Inger Christensen, TS Eliot, Jorge Luis Borges, Marshall Berman

2 Responses to “Buscando la codurniz primero–1”

  1. Debra Says:


    I really enjoy reading your Quail Diaries, following along with your travels to Mexico. The pictures are beautiful, as well as the well-placed prose; which are very inventive and a pleasure to read. I am curious about the process. How do you know where to look for the quail, and how do you catch them? What are you hoping to learn about them?

    – Deb.

    • jen Says:

      Hello Debra! I’ll be writing more about this in upcoming posts–but the basics are that we find out through species accounts and word of mouth where to look for the birds. Once we are in the area it is a combination of looking for any signs, listening for calls and, especially with quail, the sound of them moving through the brush. We generally catch them in baited funnel traps–they have to be trained to go into the traps so before we can set them we leave them open with seed for some time. Our big questions right now are really just basic natural history–where they spend their time (sleeping, eating, drinking), who they spend their time with, what they etc… etc. I think they are sleeping right now–i

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