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Archive for the ‘Science and Nature’ Category

 

Despite 2000 miles between here and there, similarities abound between the two places I call home.

Art on walls.  (Left) A massive new mural in Mill Valley, above the side wall of the Sequoia Theater, by Zio Ziegler.  (Right)  One of the many murals by Sanez (Fabián Calderón Sánchez) in Oaxaca.  By the way, I’ve previously posted murals by both artists:  click Sanez and/or Zio Ziegler.

Agave.  (Left) Of course in Mill Valley (California), it’s solely ornamental for those meticulously landscaped gardens.   (R) Whereas in Oaxaca, it’s vital crop — land without agave means life without mezcal!

Fluttering swags of flags.  (Left) Cloth Tibetan prayer flags flying outside the 142 Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley welcome patrons to the Mountainfilm festival.  (Right) Ubiquitous papel picado found inside and out in Oaxaca, in paper or plastic, for events special or just because.

Sacred mountains.  (Left) Mt. Tamalpais, the Sleeping Lady and mountain of my childhood dreams, teen driving lessons, and adult peace, joy, and renewal.  (Right) Cerro Picacho (in Zapoteco, Quie Guia Betz), brother/sister mountain — the sacred mountain in Teotitlán del Valle, where, among other times, villagers make a pilgrimage to the top on Día de la Santa Cruz (Day of the Holy Cross).

And, last but not least, colorfully costumed couples.  (Left) Soon after arriving at the Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival, I ran into this twosome.  Turns out, in the “it’s a small world” universe, they are actually friends of a couple I know in San Miguel de Allende.  (Right) During July’s Guelaguetza in Oaxaca, the delegation from Putla de Guerrero representing their celebration of Carnaval, is garish and gaudy and wild and wacky — in other words, fantastic!

Creativity is a challenge. It requires us to be fully human — autonomous yet engaged, independent yet interdependent. Creativity bridges the conflict between our individualistic and our sociality. It celebrates the commonality of our species while simultaneously setting us apart as unique individuals.  —Greg Graffin

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One of the apartments in this higgledy piggledy complex is being readied for a new occupant.  Opening the door to begin the job, Luci was greeted with an unexpected wall hanging.IMG_1815She ran upstairs, laughing and calling me to come down and see what she had discovered.  Hmmm…  Rapunzel’s tresses?  If so, like everyone else suffering Oaxaca’s hard water, she needs to start using a good hair-conditioner.

IMG_1817Of course, closer inspection revealed it to be the roots of something.  A tree, perhaps?  But, there are no trees in the vicinity and, in reality, it seemed to be coming from my terrace.  I dashed upstairs, as Luci came outside to stand and point to where the fibrous cascade seemed to be coming from.  P1130530Yikes, on the west wall, the culprit was exposed; the roots of one of my pitahaya had grown into the concrete!!!

IMG_1821Alas, the pitahaya’s tenacity could not be allowed to continue; the garden shears came out and the problem was nipped at its root.  The same was done below, leaving golden tresses lying on the ground waiting to be swept away.

P1130510All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

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Luís interrupted his Sisyphusean task of sweeping the African tulip tree blossoms off the driveway this morning, to come upstairs to show me this baby hummingbird sitting on the driveway.

Baby hummingbird on drivewayThere’s a lot of hummingbird action going on in the African tulip tree above and we decided it was best to leave baby alone and hope mom flies down to give it some help.

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The rainy season transforms the Plumeria (aka, Frangipani) in my rooftop garden.  Large lush leaves sprout from naked stalks and flowers materialize, perfuming the terrace with the heady scent of the tropics.  Ahhh…

P1100246P1100241P1100252P1100298“And all of us with our closed eyes smelled the frangipani blossoms in the big rectangles of open wall, flowers so sweet they conjure up sin or heaven, depending on which way you are headed.” — Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible

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I came out one morning to find buds had appeared on my night-blooming cereus.

April 5, 2015

April 5, 2015

As the days and nights passed, the blossoms grew and swelled.

April 12, 2015

April 12, 2015

After only a week, flowers burst open for only a night.

April 13, 2015

April 13, 2015

Cereusly, I love my garden!

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