When we think of migration, I think that Canadian Geese are the first thought in North America. They are so prevalent all over the country.
In California, we often think of the whales migrating along the coast. Grey Whales and Humpback Whales can be seen making their way from Baja Mexico to Alaska. However, the best show we have ever seen was just after landing in Maui. Very hungry, we decided to eat at a restaurant where we knew the food would be less than spectacular but was overlooking the Maalea Bay. To our surprise, Humpback Whales overwintering in Hawaii were jumping, breaching, and tail slapping in every direction. The entertainment made up for a mediocre meal.
What about the less than obvious? While in Norsewood, New Zealand, we stopped at the New Zealand Natural Clothing store. From across the shop, I heard Emma talking to someone but wasn’t sure what I heard and had to ask, “Are we seeing the eels or eating the eels.” Emma, missing key information in the accent stated, “I’m not sure.” The very gracious owner adopted us for an hour and showed us the Longfin Eels migrating through the streams behind the shop. The eels were almost tame eating out of a neighbor’s hand and playing with his Jack Russel Terrier in the shallow water. They explained their life cycle and migration from New Zealand to the Pacific Ocean near Tonga; information that served us well when we discovered the Longfin Eels on the South Island.
Sometimes, when we travel, we are seeing migration without knowing it. We are not from the area, they are not from the area, but no one knows who is the “local.”
Just as when we travel, we want to feel welcome, it’s important for us to welcome the migratory species that come through our neighborhood.