Today we crossed the Rosario-Victoria bridge (long bridge over the Paraná river, longer causeway across the wetlands) to Estancia "El Cerrito" for asado (barbeque), a folklore show (with audience participation dancing at the end), some fierce games of sapo (coin toss with a bronze toad's gaping maw as target) and lots of lazing around in the sun or shade, depending on preference.
And I learned three new trees today: Ceibo, Ombú, and Paraíso (Paradise). Trees I'd read about--the first two, anyway--but hadn't seen or identified. Our friendly hostess shared a number of other plant names with me, but I can evidently retain only a few at a time. I learned the Palo Borracho's name the other day, though I'd been taking pictures of it for a while. The trunk looks swollen (source of borracho--drunk?), with thick spines, then nips in almost as if collared before the branches spread, but the fiber inside the seedpods is incredibly fine and silky.
|Ceibo-- Argentina's national flower|
|Paraíso. Kids call the seeds--loose skins, hard pits--|
"venenitos" (that is, poison). They're popular,
and painful, additions to Carnival water balloons.
|Palo borracho seed pod|
I also saw tantalizingly varied birds out the bus window: Lots of herons, but also one that looked like a long-beaked storks. Huge, fat raptors of some kind, eagle-sized, some flying, some perched, some waddling. With a kind of crest on the head, I think. But, of course, traveling too fast to be sure. Will have to try to get closer another time. Unidentified birds, plenty of cattle, lots of sunshine. My eyes are still prickling a little from the glare.
|Trust me. Birds abound.|
|As do cattle.|