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Posts Tagged ‘trees’

Yellow is the color of winter in Oaxaca, be it flora, fauna, or nature-inspired human intervention…

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Primavera amarilla (Tabebuia chrysantha) on Calle Porfirio Díaz.

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Corner of Calle Porfirio Díaz and Calle de M. Bravo.

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Great Kiskadee sitting in the tree next door surveying the scene.

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Emiliano Zapata looks out from above the entrance to Espacio Zapata and Atila del Sur restaurant.

A. M. A. R. I. L. L. O.
by Edward Kofi Louis

Aim high in life and, always seek for peace!
Making it possible to share with others;
As the sun always rises from the east! !
Resting down west to respect the muse of nature.
In the light of Life,
Lights in the sight of the truth! !

Living with positive morals,
Onward with the joy of life.

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If you’ve been to Oaxaca, you have probably gazed up at the palms along Constitución next to Santo Domingo — an area known as Jardín del Pañuelito.  In early 2012, color changing mood lighting was added to illuminate the trees.

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However, last Thursday, on my way to the Oaxaca Lending Library, I noticed something was amiss; fronds had been removed from the tops of two of the palm trees.

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Saturday, the image was more ominous; one of the denuded palms was missing and crowds were focused on another.

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Most everyone had their cell phone cameras out, aimed aloft.  And then…

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Timberrrr!!!  Down it went, amidst oohs and aahs.  Then the soundtrack turned to the buzz of chainsaws, as workmen began cutting the trunk into manageable pieces.

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Sad…  I know about the where and how, but I’m not sure about the who, what, and why.

 

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As I left my apartment Friday morning, the sky was blue, the air was brisk and shadows played tag with the ceiba.

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Early mornings in March are magical.

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The Flamboyant trees (aka, Delonix regia and Royal Poinciana) have outdone themselves this year.  And yesterday, walking home from the market, I was captured and enraptured by their canopy.  P1090203On Independencia below the Basilica de la Soledad.

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When atop the massive plateau that is the archaelogical site of Monte Albán, one can’t help but reflect on the pre-Hispanic cultures that built and inhabited this place; cultures whose gods were of the environment — the elements and the agricultural gifts, to man and beast, those elements provided.

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Today, as we celebrate Earth Day, perhaps we need a return to the old gods…

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“What do you do all day?”  It’s a question I’ve been asked countless times since I began my retired life down Oaxaca way and I’m not alone.  Most expats here have heard those words — a query that hints at the notion that there couldn’t possibly enough to fill the day in a place where one isn’t fluent in the language, isn’t surrounded by family and old friends, and doesn’t have a job.  A large part of the answer is, doing most everything takes longer.  And that is not a bad thing!  Perhaps, a photo diary of this morning’s grocery shopping excursion might provide an illustration.

After morning coffee and breakfast, catching up on email and the news, washing dishes, showering and dressing, I grabbed a couple of shopping bags and headed out at 10 AM.  The initial plan had been to walk up to Niños Heroes (the Pan American highway) to photograph some new murals, cross the highway to the Organic Market, and then return home by way of Sánchez Pascuas mercado where I could get chicken, quesillo, and anything else that remained on my shopping list or struck my fancy.  However, for almost an hour, I’d been hearing Guelaguetza music coming from the Plaza de la Danza.  I decided a detour was in order and found kindergartners performing Oaxaca’s traditional folkloric dances, including this one  where couples take turns “dissing” each other in a rhythmic double-entendre laden dialogue.  It always gets laughs — wish I could understand the jokes!  Needless to say, I hung out watching the kids for awhile.

P1080705I finally tore myself away and resumed my original itinerary.  Some of the murals were east of the Pochimilco Organic Market so I decided to start at the end and work my way back — a route which took me up the Macedonio Alcalá where I saw a sidewalk vignette of hats and scarves lined up in front of Santo Domingo.  There was also a small marmota (cloth globe on a pole) laying on its side, so I’m guessing there was to be a calenda (parade) of some sort.

P1080715After stopping to take a few photos (how could I resist the juxtaposition with the Peña Nieto graffiti?) I found myself behind these vendors taking their merchandise up to Llano Park for its Friday market.

P1080717Deciding to speed up my slow progress on the errands I’d set forth for the morning, I passed the gals only to stop to watch Oaxaca’s version of the dog whisperer working with four Xoloitzcuintlis (Mexican Hairless Dogs).

P1080722 (1)Eventually continuing north, I arrived at Niños Heroes and the murals and street art I’d come to find and photograph.  They deserve their own blog post, so I will save those photos for another day.  However, I also ran across this wonderful wall!  P1080752Crossing the highway, I found the newly built and landscaped stairs (almost didn’t recognize them) leading up to Xochimilco and the Pochimilco Organic Market.  I wandered and lingered and tasted — including a few of these mezcals, as I’ve got a US trip coming up and a stepson who probably won’t speak to me if I don’t bring him a couple of bottles.

P1080755Popping some gum in my mouth (didn’t want my breath to smell like I’m a lush), I headed south on Tinoco y Palacios to catch a couple of new murals I’d had fleeting glimpses of when returning from last Sunday’s trip to Tlacolula.  This one had particularly caught my eye.

P1080788By the time I arrived at Sánchez Pascuas, it was after 12 noon.  I found my poultry guy, paid a visit to the cheese vendor, picked up some veggies from my favorite produce gal, and, on the way out, bought some homemade salsa verde.  Yummm…  As I descended the three stairs down to the sidewalk, I turned around to admire the beautiful color of the flamboyant and jacaranda trees and the tranquility of this setting in the middle of the state’s bustling capital city.

P1080815It was close to 1 PM when I unlocked the door to my apartment.  If I were in California, I would have jumped in the car, driven down to the local Friday organic market (with not a drop of mezcal in sight), browsed a bit, spent way too much money, climbed back in the car to finish shopping at Safeway, before returning to the house, probably by 11 AM.

Here in Oaxaca, I’d been gone almost three hours, walked close to fifty (often hilly) blocks, and seen some wonderful, creative, and life affirming sights.  And, that doesn’t even include the scattering of conversations with my neighbors and Luís and Luci, who work here.  Just another Friday.  Not a bad way to live one’s life!

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The jacarandas are in bloom and there is…

Purple Haze all in my brain, lately things don’t seem the same,

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actin’ funny but I don’t know why.

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‘Scuse me while I kiss the sky.

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Purple Haze all around,

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don’t know if I’m coming up or down…

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Yeah, Purple Haze all in my eyes, don’t know if it’s day or night.

Jacaranda from my window

You’ve got me blowing, blowing my mind.  Is it tomorrow or just the end of time?

Thank you Jimi Henrix for Purple Haze — THE jacaranda season soundtrack!

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You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming. –Pablo Neruda

Flor de mayo; May Flower

Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems.  –Rainer Maria Rilke

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Every spring is the only spring, a perpetual astonishment. –Ellis Peters

Pseudobombax ellipticum, Shaving Brush Tree

Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!‘  –Robin Williams

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I’m still in recovery and catching-up mode and a nagging cold (caught in el norte) hasn’t helped.  While I’ve only ventured out of Casita Colibrí a few times, I’m loving being back in the land of color.

Colorful street art on wall

And, after my recent sojourn to points north, where Mother Nature is a drama queen when it comes to seasons, I’m savoring one of the subtle signs of spring in Oaxaca.

Lavender blossoms on jacaranda against blue sky

The jacarandas are beginning to bloom.

Lavender jacaranda blossoms against blue ski

Purple haze all in my eyes…

Street art:  lips painted on a wall

Excuse me while I kiss the sky!

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More from the Hecho en Oaxaca exhibit…

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The courtyard at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca (MACO)…

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Art is the tree of life.  — William Blake


					

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Sign in tree "Los arboles son vida cuidalos

Life goes on within you and without you.  – George Harrison

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We are in the middle of the dry season; the mountains surrounding the valleys of Oaxaca are golden.  It’s still winter and my African tulip trees remain leafless against the sun and blue sky.  However, Mother Nature is hinting that Spring is coming; time for you guys to shave those winter beards.  And, this time of year, la madre naturaleza supplies the brushes — the Pseudobombax ellipticum.

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According to the Oaxaca Garden and Nature Club website, its common name in English is the Shaving Brush Tree.

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As you can see above, the flowers can be red or white.

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By the way, one of its common names en español is Cabellos de Ángel.

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Angel Hair or Shaving Brush?  You decide!

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Instead of the coming of age novel, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, we have the real life drama of a tree falls in Oaxaca.  Heading down to the mercado this morning, I was brought up short by this heartbreaking sight.

Large trunk of tree uprooted from ground.

According to reports, there were many present to hear and see one of the grand 130+ year old Indian laurels topple during a storm on Saturday night.  And, worst of all, ten people were injured, two seriously.  Trees in the city, including Indian laurels in the Zócalo, have been plagued by adversity.  A laurel in the Zócalo fell a few years ago, damaging a nearby building, and most recently in May 2011, I wrote about a laurel on the Alameda that toppled.  Resurrection was attempted and guy-wires remain to this day holding it upright.  I guess the experts decided this latest one was beyond rescue.

Large tree cut into pieces

Controversy reigns, as many assert that these trees should be able to withstand the rain and less-than gale force winds.  Thus speculation over the cause runs rampant.  Root rot appears to be the immediate culprit but the big question is, why?

Pile of massive wood logs

And, as Chris sadly noted a couple of months ago, regarding the diseased flamboyant trees in front of Santo Domingo de Guzmán, Any tree is hard to replace.

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