A view of the city of San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato.
Our home for 5 weeks, Privada Agustin Lara, Colonia Guadalupe, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico
The dining and living rooms of our rented house in San Miguel. It had a full kitchen, 2 bedrooms, and 3 bathrooms. For a long stay, this beats hotel rooms hands down.
A couch potato in his element, intent on trying to understand TV in rapid-fire spanish.
A street in San Miguel de Allende
Typically dysfunctional San Miguel sidewalk
A long Mercado lane we walked to school. We got to know it well.
A little grocery shopping.
Chicken or beef?
Another of the many churches in San Miguel. This one dates from the 16th century.
The steep streets to the south of town.
A street near the center of San Miguel.
Streets of San Miguel
View of San Miguel from our rooftop terraza.
A Nashville Warbler visits our terraza. This bird is widespread in the U.S. and Canada in summer.
Trying to photograph hummingbirds on our rooftop terraza.
Broad-billed Hummingbirds were frequent visitors to our terraza (because we fed them, of course)
Male Broad-billed Hummingbird.
Another Broad-billed hummingbird waits his turn at the feeders on a nearby re-bar. Re-bars are a popular decorative element in Mexican architecture.
Female Broad-billed Hummingbird
Broad-billed Hummingbird (M)
A female violet-crowned Hummingbird on our rooftop terrace.
La Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel, the main Catholic cathedral in San Miguel de Allende.
La Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel at dusk.
La Parroquia at night from the central plaza (El Jardin)
Another of the many Catholic buildings in San Miguel.
Streets of San Miguel de Allende
Our friends the Joneses flew from New Mexico to Old Mexico to stay with us a while.
Lunch with the Joneses at another small restaurante in San Miguel
The Agua Blanca resort, a hidden gem in Jungapeo, Michoacán where we spent 4 days on a side trip from San Miguel
From Agua Blanca we did a day trip to the Monarch Butterfly reserve at Cerro Pelón.
On the trek in search of the famous clouds of Monarch butterflies.
One of the 10 Monarch Butterflies we were able to find (6 of them were dead)
Descending 4000' back to the village of Macheros after searching in vain for butterflies. Our guide is at right. (Guides are required.)
Resting back in Macheros after the hike to Cerro Pelon.
Golden-cheeked Woodpecker at Agua Blanca
Streak-backed Oriole at Agua Blanca. A life bird.
Gray Silky-flycatcher, Agua Blanca. Another life bird.
The tree house at Agua Blanca. We did most of our bird observation and photography from this platform.
In the treehouse (actually a landing platform for a defunct zip line).
More fauna, Agua Blanca.
The area is well known for butterflies.
The river below Agua Blanca.
A limestone cave just below the hotel.
The waterfall above Agua Blanca.
Back in San Miguel
In our "classroom", Academia Hispano Americana, where we butchered the Spanish language in front of paid professionals.
At the language school with Lupita, one of our two instructors. We took private classes here throughout our stay.
Lunch at a neighborhood favorite "restaurant" - three plastic tables. Order the tacos de pescado.
A procession on the day of La Virgen de Guadalupe, Dec. 12, one of the biggest celebrations of the year in Mexico. Fireworks start at 5:00am and last all day.
Children in the procession of the Virgen de Guadalupe.
A small participant in the procession of La Virgen de Guadalupe.
A tienda decked out with Christmas merchandise.
A view of El Charco de Ingenio, a nature reserve within walking distance of our house. We spent a lot of time here.
El Charco de Ingenio was created primarily as a desert plant repository - there are hundreds of species here.
Checking out the cactus at El Charco.
Male Vermilion Flycatcher at El Charco
Another fine male Vermilion Flycatcher
An abandoned crumbling hacienda on the grounds of El Charco de Ingenio.
Cactus and yucca, El Charco de Ingenio.
Cactus, El Charco de Ingenio.
Cactus Wren, El Charco.
Cassin's Kingbird at El Charco de Ingenio. A life bird for us.
A Black Phoebe at el Charco. A familiar bird from the SW of the U.S.
Chilling in the shade at El Charco after an exhausting day of birding. Someone's gotta do it.
An impossibly cute niña at the snack bar, El Charco de Ingenio.
Hiking down the cañon from el Charco de Ingenio back to San Miguel. Myth has it that a child-eating monster lives in this pool. Doubtless invented by mothers to keep their kids from swimming here.
Canyon wall, El Charco de Ingenio.
Having dinner at "Olé, Olé", a San Miguel restaurant plastered with bullfighting memorabilia.
On a side trip to the Sierra Gorda region, NE of San Miguel
Our rental cottage, Jalpan de Serra.
Our patio at Jalpan de Serra.
Audubon's Oriole at Jalpan de Serra. A life bird.
Ferruginous Pygmy Owl. We got out of bed before dawn to track this bird down (from his calls).
A female Elegant Trogon was the first bird we saw in this area.
Male Green Kingfisher, Jalpan de Serra.
Female Green Kingfisher, Jalpan de Serra.
Looking for birds near our cottage in Jalpan de Serra.
Female Ringed Kingfisher, Jalpan de Serra.
Reservoir near Jalpan de Serra.
Double-crested Cormorant, Jalpan de Serra.
A side trip to Guanajuato, another World Heritage city near San Miguel. This is where the Mexican War of Independence started.
Steps up to the University, Guanajuato.
Street vendors, Guanajuato.
Street scene, Guanajuato.
A popular lunch cart, Guanajuato.
The Alhóndiga de Granaditas, a famous building where the war of independence from Spain began in September of 1810. This is sort of the Mexican equivalent of the Tour de Bastille in France.
House front, Guanajuato.
Guanajuato from a popular mirador.
Indigenous people sell their wares througout San Miguel.
Back in San Miguel, scanning the cityscape from our rooftop.
A recently excavated ruin near San Miguel. An introduction to the much-larger Mayan ruins we'd see later in the Yucatán.
Ruins, Cañon de la Virgen, 20 miles from San Miguel de Allende
Getting ready for a special Christmas dinner put on by a fine local restaurant in San Miguel.
Street scene, San Miguel. Rooftop dogs are celebrated here. There is even a calendar devoted to them. Their major function is to bark.
A mercado, San Miguel.
A different mercado.
The bullfight poster that motivated our attendance. We spent last spring in Spain and demurred, even through a visit to one of the historical centers of the tradition. We decided to experience it once in our lifetime at this small, local venue.
Parading the draft horses before bullfight. These horses would later drag the bulls out.
The first bull enters the ring.
The first bull kicking up a little dust.
Conservative passes with a fresh bull. The matadors get bolder as the bull tires.
Paco Doddoli, one of the two matadors we were to watch. He was reputed to be quite good. I'll be buying a pair of those pants.
Marcial Herce, the second matador in this "mano-a-mano" contest between matadors.
A banderillero at the "moment of truth."
Sun setting over the bullring. Final score: Matadors 4, bulls 0.
A day hike to the nearby Picacho Hills near the end of our stay in San Miguel.
Atop the Picacho Hills
The compulsory sunset shot to end the show, from our rooftop in San Miguel de Allende.