Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Creatures of Machu Pichu


Good morning Senora Pia, welcome to our humble abode.
Those might well have been the words of these little beautiful, calm and very observant little sunbathers. They greeted me as I walked closer and closer to the top of the path where I could finally see the structure and walls of Machu Picchu. They were about 25-30cm long and this second one was quite surely in the process of finding his 'summer coat', his tail looking kind of scraggly and the rest of him smooth, dark and fresh in colour.
Then there was this little fur-ball. Sitting quietly unnoticed by the crowds just above head height by the entrance to the Temple of the Condor. Pleasing me immensely since we had seen many signs of him and his family, nutritious little dropings left everywhere to replenish mother earth and here he was, also taking advantage of the solar energy one can obtain by breathing deeply and slowly for a little while in the rays of this life giver before seeking the relief of cooler, shadier places during the midday and the early afternoon hours.
He/she is a Viscacha - a chinchilla cousin, one of the creatures belonging to the Apus, the great mountains - who keeps his foxes, vischachas, condors etc like we keep sheep and chickens.
A small and cute, fast-moving and shy little creature whom I was pleased to encounter. I met another one of his kin when I walked to CanchaCancha, a high altitude community at another point during my stay in Peru - his kin was at a full run, also showing a great tail but not inclined to stop for a chat.

Then of course there were the Llamas, and there were a few around here, walking freely on the grounds, no doubt keeping the ground vegetation manageably short and also fertilizing and adding good growing matter to the dry mountain soil.

Finally there were the little blue white swallows - And I apologize for the unfocus of this photo - although the quality is not really as it should be this is the best photo I can come up with. These winged beings were an integral part of my Machu Picchu experience....... they were everywhere, swooping, whistling, moving swiftly around people's heads, not to mention the people's feet when the feeding possibilities of yummy little buggies seemed to be available closer to the ground. Mind you, the swallows didn't land to feed, they just did their diving thing, corrected the flying angle before colliding with the short grass and finding a new angle to fly upwards towards another protein rich and delicious tid bit.
I was glad to see that although MP was full of people there were still plenty of other creatures holding the fort when the quiet of evening and darkness falls.


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