Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘agave’

While scientists were in the process of identifying four new species of agave, an agave on my terrace…

P1260986

June 28, 2017

… had a surprise of its own.

P1280469

July 23, 2017

Seemingly overnight, from its center, a stalk (aka, quiote) began reaching toward the sky.

P1280476

July 23, 2017

After awhile, buds began appearing along the sides of the stalk.

IMG_0692 (1)

September 18, 2017

And from the buds, the rainy season brought blossoms.

IMG_0743

September 27, 2017

The flowers opened from bottom to top.

IMG_1119

October 21, 2017

Eventually, all the flowers browned and seed pods began forming.

IMG_2436

November 19, 2017

Who knows what I will find when I return to Casita Colibrí next week.  What I do know is that this agave is now dying — but there are plantlets waiting to replace it!  By the way, quiotes have traditionally been used for firewood (Maybe for my chiminea?) and even to make a didgeridoo-like musical instrument.  (Hmmm… I don’t think I’ll try the latter.)

Read Full Post »

A challenging year 2017 was — for Oaxaca, Mexico, USA, and the world.  However, lovely Oaxaca continues to survive with beauty and grace and helps keep me focused on trying to do the same.  I am grateful to her every day.  Thus, my New Year’s gift to you — sharing a month-by-month look back at the little things in 2017 that nourished my body and soul.

P1240455_Jan

January 2017 – Shibori flags flying over the courtyard of the Museo Textil de Oaxaca

P1240820_Feb

February 2017 – Agave somewhere between San Dionisio Ocotepec and Ocotlán de Morelos

P1250161_Mar

March 2017 – Quinceañera celebration in front of Santo Domingo de Guzmán

P1250863_Apr

April 2017 – Chapulines at the first Encuentro de Cocineras Tradicionales Oaxaca

P1260105_May

May 2017 – Teotitlán del Valle’s garbage truck.

P1260510_Jun

June 2017 – Grinding lime tree leaves for té de limon in Teotitlán del Valle

P1270185_Jul

July 2017 – Six layer rainy season view from Casita Colibrí

P1280664_Aug

August 2017 – Unión de Palenqueros de Oaxaca — and that means mezcal!

IMG_0726_Sep

September 2017 – Chickens roasting at earthquake relief benefit at Criollo restaurant

IMG_1643_Oct

October 2017 – Grilling at an outdoor “hall of smoke” in Villa de Mitla

IMG_2513_Nov

November 2017 – Dried chiles at Mercado Benito Juárez

IMG_3943_Dec

December 2017 – Decorated molinillos at the Feria del Pan y el Chocolate in Tlacolula de Matamoros

In the words of Linda Oaxaca, “Oaxaca you live in me.”  From my home to yours, adiós 2017 and bienvenidos 2018!!!

Read Full Post »

A skein of yarn waiting to be woven…

IMG_0695

Agave blossoms reaching for the sky…

IMG_0691

Ceramic sculpture of a Tehuana by Fran Garcia Vásquez.

IMG_0699

Ooops, a broken arm!  It seems appropriate that my only casualty from the 8.2 earthquake depicts a woman from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec — the region where some of the most severe damage in the state of Oaxaca occurred.  However, like the people she represents, she is strong, proud, and healing will happen.

If you want to help the victims of the September 7 earthquake, please see my previous post.  If you do, reward yourself by watching last night’s benefit at the Guelaguetza Auditorium, Oaxaca Corazón.  And, if you don’t, perhaps this spectacular concert will encourage you to donate to earthquake relief.

This all-star event, organized in less than a week by Lila Downs and Susana Harp, will have tears falling — I guarantee it!

Save

Read Full Post »

It’s good to be back in Oaxaca — land of mezcal.  Even the walls sing its praises.

P1240784

And, they are not alone — so does National Geographic, with their article, A Mezcal Boom Spurs Creativity.

Save

Save

Save

Read Full Post »

Last week, a friend of mine in California challenged me to post a nature photo every day for seven days on Facebook.  I had participated in one of these challenges nine months before, posting mostly photos from the countryside.  This time, I decided to acknowledge the gifts that Mother Nature keeps surprising me with in my rooftop terrace garden.

p1200126_day2

African tulip tree seen from my terrace, July 6, 2016

p1220143_day1

Neoscona Oaxacensis orb weaver spider, Sept. 9, 2016

p1200426_day6

Night Blooming Cereus early morning, July 21, 2016

img_2366_day5

Lesser Goldfinch (I think) on the terrace chain link fence, Nov. 12, 2016

p1220916_day3

Io moth caterpillar munching on plumeria leaf, Oct. 31, 2016

p1220712_day4

Hibiscus flower taken Oct. 19, 2016

p1220733_day7

Agave and Stapelia gigantia early evening, Oct. 24, 2016

And, in the spirit of the season, they are my gifts to you.  Hope you like!

 

 

Read Full Post »

 

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

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Read Full Post »

Before a “suspendida” order is slapped on this stunning piece by the Lapiztola collective celebrating the human face of agave cultivation, here is another moving work of art for the people, seen on Tinoco y Palacio on the wall of Piedra Lumbre, near the Sanchez Pascuas mercado.  It tells a story…

P1140381The wisdom of cultivation handed down from generation to generation.

P1140382From the agave comes mezcal.

P1140382lgThere are 199 “recognized” species of agave.  How many can be used to make mezcal?  The Mezcal PhD explores the answer.  And, for an illustrated guide to many of the more popular varietals, click The Many Varieties of Mezcal.

Read Full Post »

Sometimes a Sunday drive is just what the doctor ordered.  Though when in Oaxaca, one can’t assume the course will run smooth.

P1020762 copy1

After being blocked by bloqueos a couple of times last week, blogger buddy Chris and I were in the midst of congratulating ourselves when our leisurely drive south on Hwy. 190 came to a halt as we attempted to turn west at San Dionisio Ocotepec.  At least ten men and a few trucks were positioned across the turnoff.  Oh, no, not again… another protest?

P1020769 copy1

No, a bike race had closed the road.  Seeing our disappointment, we were directed to make a U-turn, backtrack a mile (or so), and turn onto the dirt road that skirted the hillside, in order to bypass the race.  It was easier said than done, but after a few fits and starts, gullies and rocky outcroppings, and inquiries of all manner of vehicles coming from the opposite direction, we eventually wound up back on the paved road — right where we wanted to be!

P1020773 copy1

We weren’t the only ones westward bound.  These guys, while not part of the race, were also enjoying a Sunday ride.  We passed them on our way to San Baltazar Chichicapam.

P1020791 copy1

And, why were we going to Chichicapam?  To fill up our 5 liter “gas” canisters with some of our favorite mezcal made from locally grown agave, of course!  Muy suave…

P1020797 copy1

Sunday or not, a campesino’s work is never done.  Cattle, burros, and herds of goats were a common sight as we continued our Sunday drive.  And, speaking of goats…  By the time we turned north at Ocotlán de Morelos, we were starving.  Lucky for us, Los Huamuches, our “go to” roadside restaurant between Santo Tomás Jalieza and San Martín Tilcajete, wasn’t far away.

P1020801 copy1

What can I say?  Mild temperatures, spectacular scenery, good company, and barbacoa muy sabrosa — the “doctor” was right!

Read Full Post »

… and for everything good, you also should.”  — old Oaxaca saying.

Today, the XIV Feria Nacional del Mezcal opens in el Paseo Juárez el Llano.  Preparations were in full swing yesterday afternoon, when I walked passed Llano Park (as it is more commonly known).

Behind the back of Benito Juárez, carpenters were busy.

Carpenters building a booth in Llano Park next to statue of Benito Juárez

Newly constructed puestos lined the sidewalk on Pino Suarez, waiting to be filled with vendors and displays…

Empty booths along sidewalk
… and hearts of the maguey  (called piñas, because they look like pineapples) were piling up all around the park.

Pile of hearts of the maguey

For more information about mezcal, including how it differs from tequila, see:

In the meantime… “¡Arriba, abajo, al centro y pa’ dentro!”

Update:  Posters, website, and other publicity to the contrary, the feria did not begin today.   Mañana is the word!

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: