In November of 1999, I went on a field trip to the Ojos Negros valley, in Baja California, Mexico, accompanied by my colleague Thalia Gaona, who teaches Economics at the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California. Our intended purpose was to do a photographic documentation as part of our SCERP research project on the sustainable management of water in the valley.

We decided to reach the top of Cerro Doña Eulalia, from which we were sure the view of the valley would be ummatched. As we got there, we admired the breathtaking view and prepared to shoot our film. Suddenly, we were disturbed by a group of buzzards, who hurriedly flew out of the crevices of a pile of rocks located at the top of the hill.

We took pains to make sure that the buzzards understood that we were not there to harm them. As we quieted down from the experience, I could not help but ponder that I had never ran across a buzzards' nest before. These elusive creatures are experts at making sure that they stay at arm's length from the rest of us, particularly if we give any indication of being alive.


View of Cerro Doña Eulalia and the Ojos Negros valley.