Tanagers, Cotton, and Ceremony

When I went to Atzompa three days ago, I sighted this spectacular tanager in a tree. I didn’t have my “real” camera with me, however, with its attendant telephoto lens, so I didn’t get a photo. Two days ago I went back. I tend to go to places multiple times around here, both because I want to, and because I like to take my friends places. Anyway, this time I took my Olympus with its 300mm (600mm equivalent) lens. Red was waiting for me, and let me get almost close enough for a great shot.

I’m pretty sure this is the same type of tanager that I saw often in Tucson. I’m guessing that, like many Americans, it is down here for the winter.

I also snapped this photo of an open seed pod on a Ceiba (Silk Cotton Tree). This is the national tree of Costa Rica and is also one of the trees you see growing on the buildings of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, along with Strangler Figs. People here consider the tree sacred, and the “cotton” is harvested and used to make ceremonial garments.

Speaking of Ceremonial, I was also back at Yagul the other day, and finally managed to find the intriguing rock wall that you can see from the parking area. I tried a month ago, but couldn’t locate it. This time, I did. It turns out that it is more of a bridge than a wall, leading out to a giant split rock, high above the valley floor. I imagine it was a place where a priest (shaman) went on the solstice, but nobody knows. It definitely serves no practical purpose.

Isn’t it interesting how so many of the things we value, pursue, love, explore, keep, and miss have no practical purpose?