Carolyn J. Rose
“I’d love to see a condor in the wild,” I said as Mike clicked on an Earthflight program we’d recorded and saved for a day we wanted a little education with our entertainment.
The photography was stunning and the bird-cam view of the Andes was amazing. But twenty minutes later, I amended my statement to, “I’d love to see a condor soaring. At a distance.”
Viewed from afar as they ride the thermals, they appear powerful and majestic. Close up, it’s clear these birds are oversized vultures—hunch-shouldered, bald-headed, carrion-devouring vultures that have trouble getting off the ground with a full crop.
This wasn’t the first distance/close-up disenchantment episode in my life. In fact, if I’d kept track of such episodes, this one would have been assigned a number somewhere in the thousands. There have been dresses that looked terrific on display but not on me, shoes that tortured my feet, cars that broke down on a monthly basis, meals where eating the napkin would have been a wiser—and tastier—choice, dates that . . .
Well, let’s not go there. There point is there can be a big gap between a “romanticized” image and reality. A little research and a closer look can’t hurt. And changing your mind—and your bucket list—is okay.
So, I won’t be saving up for a trip to South America—at least not a trip with the specific goal of getting close to a condor.
But penguins—black, white, and jaunty—I’d love to get close to a bunch of penguins.
Or would I?