Wednesday, March 18, 2009

i love the smell of guano in the mornin'

it's true. guano is bird droppings. it's the calcified looking white stuff that smells like ammonia and piles up on coastal islands and beaches along peru's desert coast. before that age of petroleum based fertilizers, it was valuable, so valuable that chile and peru fought a war over it, and now it is coming back into vogue among organic farmers. it's full of nitrates. down at punta roquitas today, i saw thousands upon thousands of hungry white cormorans. so many that far out on the horizon they looked little black dots, and close up next to me they were dive bombing for little anchovas. the original kamikazes. man, when nature is on, it's really on. overwhelming in its intensity.


  1. Don't y'all have to worry about sharks down there? From How to Prevent a Shark Attack: "If you see diving sea birds, it is also a good indication that sharks may be present."

  2. no sharks (ok...extremely rare) around that part, mainly due the Humboldt current that runs v cold water up from the South.