Eye On The Prize
We rise hundreds strong from the mangrove trees until the pink flamingoes and blue crabs of our wetland sanctuary are only winks through deciduous foliage. In a vee as stoplight red as our nation's flag, we arc southward in the amber dawn. Edged in coral white and cerulean blue, Trinidad spreads beneath us, squares and squiggles of farms and forests, roads and rivers, slums and skyscrapers, a dot in the Caribbean Sea.
In the north, vehicles are tokens on an asphalt game board, gridlocking around concrete cubes whose antennas catch the sunlight and volley it back to us. Some rooftop restaurants spin like records on turntables. Teak roofs and aquamarine swimming pools in varied geometric shapes mark suburbia.
Dark green melts into rich brown as we swoop over the swamps and hills of the Central Range, necklaced by silver thread springs and ancient mineral caves. Occasionally, there is the blur of a howler monkey in the paler green of sugar cane and cocoa fields.
In the south, oil derricks dot the sea like black-capped sentries and the receding swells beckon us to our feeding ground. Surging forward, a winged tsunami in endless azure, we zoom towards Venezuela's jungle green. We salivate for that first glimpse of red crustacean beneath muddy marsh after this eleven-mile pilgrimage from home to food. We'll do it again, day after day, at dawn and at dusk, in the time-honoured tradition of scarlet ibises before us.
21 February 2017