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Posts Tagged ‘Night Blooming Cereus’

Late yesterday afternoon, it looked like a night blooming cereus blossom would burst open for it’s one night only orgy with the pollinators of darkness.  I’m guessing the hours-long torrential tormenta that thundered over Oaxaca put a damper on the action.  This morning found only an ever-so-slightly opened blossom.  So here, in black and white, I bring to you, up close and personal, cereus reproductive organs in waiting.

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If you slept through the birds and the bees unit of high school biology (or it was too long ago to remember) and now you can’t tell a pistil from a stamen or the stigma from the anther, check out this cool little graphic  (also in black and white) from the American Museum of Natural History.

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This morning there were three…  And, when I came out to greet my night blooming cereus, they looked wistful.

3 night blooming cereus flowers

Remembering last night’s splendor?  Or, reflecting on how fleeting their glory?  Me?  I’m appreciating their presence in my present.

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Friday night, around 9:45, I went out onto the terrace to turn on the security lights.  But, who needs lights when my cereus was glowing in the dark, beckoning bats and other pollinators of the night?

By 9:30 on Saturday morning, the curtain and petals had begun to fall.

Saturday night, oblivious and readying for the dawn of daylight savings time, I turned the motion sensor lights on early and never gave the cereus a first, let alone second, glance.  However, at 7:45 AM on Sunday morning, with coffee in hand, I went out on the terrace and couldn’t miss the show my night blooming cereus had staged while I slept.

Three hours later, the latest extravaganza had drawn to a close — but I see tiny buds waiting in the wings.

[There are] many other small joys, perhaps the especially delightful one of smelling a flower or a piece of fruit, of listening to one’s own or others’ voices, of hearkening to the prattle of children. And a tune being hummed or whistled in the distance, and a thousand other tiny things from which one can weave a bright necklace of little pleasures for one’s life.

My advice to the person suffering from lack of time and from apathy is this: Seek out each day as many as possible of the small joys, and thriftily save up the larger, more demanding pleasures for holidays and appropriate hours. It is the small joys first of all that are granted us for recreation, for daily relief and disburdenment, not the great ones.
Hermann Hesse on Little Joys

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This morning I was greeted by several flowers on my night blooming cereus, with one acting as a rich playground and dining room for a guest in the garden — a very welcome honey bee.

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I have no idea how long she had wiggled and wallowed before I saw her.  I stood mesmerized for a minute or two before running into my apartment to get a camera.

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I continued to be intrigued by her industry and pleasure for another five (plus) minutes before returning inside — letting her continue in privacy, while I turned to my morning cup of coffee and bowl of cereal.

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She may have been nourishing her body, but she was also nourishing my soul.

My entry in Cee’s photo challenge.

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I can’t resist.  It’s another day and another night blooming cereus flower greeted the dawn.  Ready for her close-up, she insisted on a profile…

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¡Muy buenos días a todos!

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A couple of mornings ago, as I made my terrace rounds wishing my plants a “muy buenos días,” I found my cereus had bloomed during the night.  A gift from the garden…

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By noon it was a shriveled skeleton of itself.  The flower may have been fleeting, but it was a lasting gift of beauty amid the unrelenting, energy-sapping heat and the daily ordeal of navigating Oaxaca’s blockades, marches, and a zócalo covered in tents.  In the two days since, my step has been a little lighter and my tolerance to life’s circumstantial complexities a little higher.

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I’m baack in home sweet home Oaxaca!  Exciting flight — Andrew Zimmern and crew were on the little Embraer from Houston to Oaxaca.  I see an episode from Oaxaca on Bizarre Foods in the future.  Chicatanas, anyone?

Got home, turned on the lights — indoors and out, threw open the doors and windows, and found a couple of  welcome home gifts from my night blooming cereus.

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While I’ve been in el norte, Oaxaca’s rainy season has really kicked in.  Thus, the garden is blooming, the hills are lush and green, and I had no hot water this morning.   Ahhh… it’s good to be home!

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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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Early last night, needing a break from working on the Lord of the Little Burro blog post, I wandered out onto the terrace to check out the full moon rising over the city.  The night was clear, La Luna was brilliant, and she was going to be putting on quite a show in 6+ hours — a lunar eclipse.

Silvery full moon

April 14, 2014 – 7:21 PM (CDT)

There was no way I could stay up until then, though I did have fleeting thoughts of setting my alarm.  When bedtime came, I decided to leave it up to the fates or Semana Santa cohetes and church bells, though I did leave the Canon on her tripod, just in case.  The fates had it (probably because I didn’t eat dinner until 9:00 PM); I awoke around 2:00 AM, got up, took the camera out on the terrace, and looked up.  There was La Luna dressed as the Blood Red Queen.

Red colored eclipsed moon

April 15, 2014 – 2:20 AM (CDT)

That little spec below and to the right of the moon is Spica, the brightest star in the Virgo constellation.  It’s extra visible because of the eclipse.  In addition, about 10 degrees west of the moon, an even tinier reddish spec could also be seen (though not in this photo) — Mars came to the party, too!  And, if this weren’t enough lunacy for one night, I happened to remember, earlier in the day it looked like one of the blossoms on my Night Blooming Cereus might be ready to bloom.  Sure enough…

Flower of Night Blooming Cereus

April 15, 2014 – 3:05 AM (CDT)

What a spectacular night!  Though, how I made it to my 9:00 AM breakfast appointment, I’ll never know.  Definitely, early to bed tonight.

 

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