Local Wildlife

August 23rd, 2007

This morning I saw a dark shape on the porch and thought it was surely a cat again. I came forward to chase it off, and it turned out to be a sort of anteater creature. He was not at all shy: he stood up against the screen, and then turned around. I raced for the camera, and as I came back he was back out through the bars that enclose the porch. I got a couple of very close pictures, but since I had to hold the camera out through the bars I couldn’t see that a leaf from a potted plant was obscuring his face. He didn’t seem to mind me at all, but eventually ambled back into the jungle that lines the back yard. I did get a pretty decent picture of him in profile.


Tonight, driving to church, I couldn’t stare at the beauty all around as much as normal because there was a lot of traffic. Some of it was due to the police doing a spot check to make sure everyone driving had a license. I was told that I am too “new” to be “bearded”. In spite of that, I still feel that if any police force could give me confidence it is the police of Panama. They are in general polite, helpful and deferential. More than once I have accidentally driven right up to a restricted area, and have always gotten cheerful and helpful directions with no awkward questions. Tonight a simple flash of my Arizona license and a quick justification of my beard as personal preference got me through the blockade.

But wildlife and policemen are as nothing compared to the sheer staggering beauty of Panama. On the merits of the sky alone with its impossible clouds and its vividly gentle colours it is the most wildly lovely place I have ever been; and when you add the ocean, the mountains, and the endless variety of green in all the vegetation, it is hard to know even how to finish the sentence. I think that not even Katherine Mansfield could give a sufficiently compelling description.
In short, I like Panama. Precious stones must have a setting in the world of jewelry: and in the world of God’s masterpiece of creative art, Panama seems like the jewel at the heart of it all: as Simón Bolívar said, if you wanted a capital for the world, the isthmus of Panama is where you would look. But I’m glad it hasn’t become the capital of the world: the relatively low index of pollution must be a part of what makes every shade of blue in the sky a memory of a perfectly beautiful Creator.

4 Responses to “Local Wildlife”

  1. In which, Ruben sees an anteater « revision Says:

    […] Ruben has another picture posted here. […]

  2. Lauren Says:

    I am happy you are happy in Panama. The wildlife and jungle and ocean and even the police seem to meld into something of a colorful tone poem in your vignette.

    He seems a largeish animal to subsist on ants. Our Creator makes so many amazing provisions that are past finding out.

  3. py3ak Says:

    I suppose he was about the same size as a badger. A singularly unflappable creature, mozeying around with no sense of haste at all. It seemed like the most perfectly casual creature I had ever encountered.

  4. Wildlife - The PuritanBoard Says:

    […] had an anteater in Panama. __________________ Heidi Indianapolis, Indiana I am no longer anything; yet only one […]

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