I had a spur-of-the-moment chance to make a quick vis­it to the love­ly state of Aguas­calientes recent­ly. I’ve been mean­ing to vis­it the Vol­un­teer liv­ing up there, but sched­ul­ing these trips is tricky, unless you can just go with the flow and take the last-minute oppor­tu­ni­ty. This is now the most norther­ly part of Mex­i­co we are allowed to trav­el to since the states of Zacate­cas and San Luis Poto­sí are now off-lim­its. This is a huge shame since the SLP state is enor­mous and has some amaz­ing parts that I was look­ing for­ward to see­ing again (see these cou­ple of posts). We have gained back the state of Oax­a­ca, where we for­mer­ly just had access to the city and the beach­es. That helps, since Oax­a­ca is pret­ty amaz­ing.

So, I ven­tured to the north for two very inter­est­ing days full of great food, nature and Span­ish. The last two are always need­ed, but espe­cial­ly after almost exclu­sive­ly Eng­lish-filled, movie-going hol­i­day weeks. Not that I’m com­plain­ing, those were great too.

I went on a tour of the state tree nurs­ery with a great cac­tus gar­den and plen­ty of birds. Comi­da was at a nice seafood restau­rant with a great view at sun­set. There was some work to be done the sec­ond day, but I man­aged to get in anoth­er great comi­da before I hopped the bus home. Anoth­er way to judge how great a trip it was is by the num­ber of qual­i­ty pho­tos to come from just a week­end. So, here we go.

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Pabellon-pano2

Hap­py cac­tus­es after a few days of rare win­ter rain.

fan­tas­tic detail

and the whole view

Sweet but­ter­fly

crazy protoflow­ers or some­thing

more hap­py new cac­tus growth after a long drought

Love those spi­ral pat­terns.

great col­ors

Let’s take anoth­er close look.

Oh, let’s take anoth­er look at that awe­some but­ter­fly on the cac­tus.

Too bad all those won­der­ful plants are in cac­tus jail.

Fire­fight­er com­mu­ni­ca­tion tow­er. Like an inland light­house.

Not quite sure what this does…

Oooone is the loneli­est pome­gran­ate.

gold­en-front­ed wood­peck­er (male)

ver­mil­lion fly­catch­er

ver­mil­lion fly­catch­er

Wilson’s war­bler

broad-billed hum­ming­bird (male)

2 male broad-billed hum­ming­birds. The one on the branch did not seem very threat­ened or impressed.

Anoth­er shot of the 2 hum­ming­birds because hav­ing both in one frame is awe­some.

Male broad-billed hum­ming­bird where you can real­ly see where the name comes from.

At first he seemed hap­py to pose for me.

Then he looked pissed. Prob­a­bly a juve­nile with those fluffy feath­ers and that bad atti­tude.

Then he left.

Lady broad-billed hum­ming­bird mak­ing a nest.

And now for the styl­ized enter­tain­ment por­tion of the after­noon. It’s a hard day’s work play­ing for 100 pesos at a time.

Joke­ster play­ing the accor­dion.

Our Lady of the Mount­ed Deer looks down upon us with mer­cy at a fish restau­rant.

Deer god­dess of Knowl­edge does not under­stand how she came to be here, on the wall at a seafood restau­rant.

Hap­py bird home

And of course, typ­i­cal blooms for Jan­u­ary… shall we go get some straw­ber­ries from the mar­ket next?

The Chiqui­huite moun­tain — named for the typ­i­cal tor­tilla bas­ket.

Beau­ti­ful land­scape