Last Saturday, Julia and I got up early and joined the directors of the Spanish school on a volcano hike. We climbed about half-way up Santa Maria to get to a lookout point. The main crater of Santa Maria has been primarily dormant since a large eruption in 1902, but a side crater, Santiaguito, has been more active. The lookout point gave a view of Santiaguito and some of the surrounding mountains. On less cloudy days, you can see all the way to the Pacific Ocean.
During the climb, the directors told us about different birds and flowers. I love birds but do not have the chance to do much birdwatching, so this was a treat. Among the birds we saw were the Pink-Headed Warbler, the Rufous-Collared Robin, and a Ring-tailed pigeon. Seeing the Pink-Headed Warbler, or chipe rosado, is apparently particularly special. We heard but did not see trogons, relatives of the endangered national bird, the Quetzal.
(Picture by By Dominic Sherony – Flickr: Pink-headed Warbler (Ergaticus versicolor), CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15369221, not by me)
I was pleasantly surprised that my legs did not hurt much, since Norman is not known for its mountains or high altitude. Thankfully we took lots of breaks, since we increased significantly in altitude. I really enjoyed the sights, and we both slept quite well that night.