Bilingual nature podcast
Chipe rabadilla amarilla, Montana, Estados Unidos.
Yellow-rumped warbler.
El amanecer durante el vuelo para Oaxaca.
Sunrise during the flight to Oaxaca.

Across the wall

Una tortolita cola larga se posa en un muro en Oaxaca de Juárez.
An Inca dove perches on a wall in the city of Oaxaca de Juárez.

Gentrification and tourism

La ciudad de Oaxaca de Juárez.
The city of Oaxaca de Juárez.
El Río Salado cerca de la capital de Oaxaca. Con el aumento en el turismo, el agua se ha vuelto escasa cerca de la ciudad capital.
The Río Salado near the capital of Oaxaca. With the increase in tourism, water has become increasingly scarce near the capital city.

What happened in Cancún

Grafiti en Oaxaca protestando la gentrificación.
Graffiti in Oaxaca protesting gentrification.

From Montana to Oaxaca (and back again)

Oaxaca de Juárez desde el Cerro Fortín.
Oaxaca de Juárez, seen from the Cerro Fortín.

Las Canteras Park, Oaxaca

Las Canteras Park, Oaxaca de Juárez.
Luisito común, Parque Las Canteras.
Social flycatcher, Las Canteras Park.

Warblers in the city

Una calandria castaña forrajea en un pirul.
An orchard oriole forages in a pirul, Las Canteras Park.
Chipe corona negra, Parque Las Canteras.
Wilson’s warbler, Las Canteras Park.


El arroyo Sevenmile Creek, Helena, Montana, EU, en abril.
Sevenmile Creek, Helena, Montana, USA, in April.

From April to May

Azulejo pálido, Sevenmile Creek.
Mountain bluebird, Sevenmile Creek.
Sevenmile Creek, finales de mayo.
Sevenmile Creek at the end of May.

Connected by warblers

Chipe amarillo, Sevenmile Creek, mayo.
Yellow warbler, Sevenmile Creek, May.
Chipe rabadilla amarilla, Sevenmile Creek, mayo.
Yellow-rumped warbler, Sevenmile Creek, May.

A beginning

Un letrero en el Cerro Fortín, Oaxaca de Juárez.
A sign on the Cerro Fortín, Oaxaca de Juárez: “Let’s be that generation that noticed and began to care for the planet.”

6 Replies to “Crossing the wall: from Montana to Oaxaca”

  1. This one is thought-provoking AND beautifully written, Shane. I would call it a poetic narrative, I think! Thank you for sharing your perspective and inquiry. It seems vital and important, especially in these times.

    Some of my favorite phrases and images:
    A mechanical bird, within a shell of aluminum. flight feathers that never molt. gridded light. autumnal exuberance. other time capsules.

    A narrow barrier that, through some cruelty of life, seems to define our human existence too much in our two countries.

    Swim against the economic current. wealth gradient.

    the birds that don’t recognize borders, that connect our continent in a single, diverse entity. the wall and our connected, complicated humanity on both sides of it.

    The landscape is soggy with the anticipation of spring.

    The infinite stories of the migratory birds that weave this continent together. from the wall that the warblers ignore and the gentrification that I can’t ignore.

    Te saluda. Muchos abrazos.

  2. I was pleased to find an email message from Shane yesterday morning. He sent me a link to his most recent article. As always, I found his writing to be very descriptive, thoughtful, and soulful. He wrote about following the migrating warblers from Montana down to Oaxaca, Mexico. He wrote a poem about the journey from Montana, where he had left “the dormant tufts of the grasses, the burgundy-gray chokecherry buds, the tawny autumnal exuberance of goldenrod seeds, the glittering movement and somnolent songs of summer insects.”

    Shane’s descriptions vividly portray his environment. Further, his observations caused him to reflect on the sights and sounds, on the amazing migration of the warblers, and, on the fact that people share this planet. He observed that “we’re one humanity living on one Earth, connected by the birds, by the monarch butterflies, by vast currents of wind and atmosphere. And when we try to learn the languages of our neighbors from another country, to exchange stories, thoughts, and daily life, perhaps the world becomes a little more beautiful.”

    I enjoyed accompanying Shane on his trip to Mexico and back. And I applaud his reflections on our shared America, and on our shared world. I look forward to reading future articles that “continue the story.”

  3. Because I have been with you at Sevenmile Creek and photographed the Yellow-rumped Warbler along with many of the other warblers you mentioned, I appreciate your fleshing out the other half of their lives in Oaxaca and beyond, including the gentrification aspect. Just as birds are connectors for different countries, so, too, are you connecting with locals yourself, and sharing that connection with your audience here on Wild with Nature. Connection is what we all need in order to feel whole and at home in this world. Thank you! Gracias!

    1. Janice, thank you for sharing your comment… I’m glad to contribute to that sort of connection, and especially to know that you, who have shared so much of the story and connection at Sevenmile Creek with me, are impacted by this story, too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *