Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘trees’

This morning, Oaxaca began mourning the loss of two of the Zócalo’s iconic and beloved Indian laurels. In less than 48 hours, two of these massive trees, planted between 1875 and 1885, had fallen. Unfortunately, in their untimely demise, they join several other Indian laurels shading the Zócalo and Alameda that have crashed to the ground in the past ten years.

Yellow caution tape at the entrance to the Alameda

The concern is there will be more — thus, today these public spaces have been closed to the public with yellow caution tape and police barring the entrances.

Standing water at the base of an Indian laurel tree on the Alameda.

Ostensibly, the high winds and torrential rain Oaxaca is currently experiencing caused the trees to topple. However, our stormy weather these days is only the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Tending to the hole left by the Indian laurel that fell on Sept. 15, 2020 at the southwest corner of the Zócalo.

Several years ago, as we walked through the Zócalo and Alameda, I remember listening intently as the late artist and tree historian/savior Francisco Verástegui passionately described the indignities these trees had suffered, including disruption to their root systems when, in 2005, a governor attempted to remodel the Zócalo.

Status update at the northwest corner of the Zócalo.

Thankfully, a protest movement stopped that plan, but damage had already been done. What followed, among other things, was improper pruning, inadequate irrigation, faulty drainage, and the use of unsterilized mulch leading to the growth of fungus and causing the roots to rot — all of which contributed to the trees tumbling down.

Indian laurel that fell the evening of Sept. 17, 2020 on the southeast corner of the Zócalo.

And, it’s not only the trees in the Alameda and Zócalo. The director of the civil association Oaxaca Fértil estimates that 90% of the trees in the municipality of Oaxaca have been neglected, are diseased, and run the risk of collapsing. Let us hope that more of the historic trees that contribute to the beauty of Oaxaca can be saved and cared for in the way they deserve.

Read Full Post »

Sunday mornings have always been my favorite time to wander through the neighborhoods of Oaxaca. Traffic is light, sidewalks are mostly empty, and the city seems nestled under a blanket of tranquility. Thus, in these days of an abundance of alone-at-home time, a long peaceful walk with my neighbor (maintaining sana distancia/social distancing, of course) was just what the doctor ordered.

IMG_9448

Out the door and up the hill, we went.

IMG_9449

“Hola, buenos días” greetings were exchanged with the few people we encountered — many walking their dogs.

IMG_9463

Though we weren’t planning to eat, we stumbled on a lovely garden restaurant – Ancestral Cocina Tradicional — and couldn’t resist sitting down in their sun-dappled courtyard for a quesillo and huitlacoche quesadilla, washed down with a healthy jugo verde. Everything about the restaurant was done with care and attention — including being mindful of COVID-19 concerns.

IMG_9488

Emerging from the restaurant, we continued our ramble, admiring architecture, street art, and the beauty of dry season flowers.

IMG_9506

This Dama de Noche (Epiphyllum oxypetalum) stopped us in our tracks!

IMG_9512

After three hours, we returned to our homes feeling refreshed, appreciative of Oaxaca’s many gifts, and feeling like we can get through this — despite the puppet masters.

Read Full Post »

Are we having fun yet? As much as I hate it, I’ve been glued to TV news (BBC and CNN International) since last night’s nationalistic, confusing, and not even accurate pronouncements by the US president. As I began writing this post, I finally made myself turn it off and began listening to Yo-Yo Ma’s, Obrigado Brazil. Ahhh… much better.

IMG_9326

Jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifloia)

A best friend (since age twelve) and I are having to cancel a long-planned trip to Barcelona and Paris in April. Besides being incredibly disappointed, I’m not looking forward to trying to get refunds on flights, etc.

IMG_9374

Clavellina (Bombax palmeri)

As for COVID-19 (aka, Coronavirus), Mexico’s low coronavirus cases draws skepticism — should travellers worry? In addition, there doesn’t seem to be any movement toward canceling large gatherings or educating the public to refrain from the ubiquitous handshaking and cheek kissing. Perhaps someone in the Secretary of Health’s office should read this data-driven article, Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now, and then take action. It’s one of the most informative I have read. However, this video from 2016 of three Oaxaca nurses teaching proper hand washing technique has been making the rounds and adding a little levity to these anxiety producing days.

IMG_8989

Primavera rosa / Amapa rosa / Palo de rosa (Tabebuia rosea)

On the other hand, if one has to forego foreign travel, Oaxaca isn’t a bad place to be. And, looking up at the clear blue skies and the explosion of flowering trees that marks this time of year, I give thanks to Mother Nature for the beauty she brings to this world filled with war, poverty, and pestilence.

Read Full Post »

What a difference two months make.

The Pochote pods on the previously blogged Kapok (aka, Ceiba) tree have opened.

And, cottony fluff occasionally floats in the air…

… even from the Ceiba that soars above the courtyard of La Biznaga.

Read Full Post »

It was only recently that I learned that Oaxaca’s ubiquitous and beloved Ceiba tree was also known as the Kapok tree. Yikes, kapok was the stuff that stuffed the overstuffed furniture in my grandparents’ living room.

Those avocado-like pods (also known as pochote) contain a fluffy cotton-like fiber that is difficult to spin but is light and-water resistant — thus its use in mattresses, pillows, upholstery, stuffed animals, and life jackets. All hail and much respect to the “the mother tree of humankind.

Read Full Post »

On the way Mercado Sanchez Pascuas to restock the larder, for the past several months, this colorful scene has greeted me at the entrance to Callejon Hidalgo.

IMG_4388_port

IMG_4391

IMG_4389

“Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.” — Anais Nin

Read Full Post »

The thermometer hovers in the low 90’s (F), a very occasional late afternoon thunderstorm clears the air and cleans the sidewalks, and the high-pitched song of the cicadas (aka, cigarras and chicharras) add to Oaxaca’s soundtrack.

IMG_4057

In addition, “shaving brushes” are seen springing from the branches of the Pseudobombax ellipticum trees — commonly known here as Cabellos de Ángel (angel hair).

IMG_4417

In my garden, the night blooming cereus (Epiphyllum hookeri) have been greeting me early in the morning.

IMG_4055

And, my pistachio tree, which the leaf cutter ants stripped of all its leaves eight months ago, has rebounded and produced its first nut.  Such is spring in Oaxaca!

Read Full Post »

Purple isn’t the only color signaling spring is on the way in Oaxaca.

IMG_3605

The city is also alive in the pink of Tabebuia rosea blossoms.

IMG_3610

To borrow from the old Perez Prado song

IMG_3607

It’s Tabebuia rosea and jacaranda time.

Posted to ThursdayTreeLove

Read Full Post »

From gnarled tree limbs throughout the city…

IMG_3358_land

purple blossoms have emerged.

IMG_3357

Set against clear blue skies, it’s jacaranda time…

IMG_3360

a not-so-subtle sign that spring is on its way.

Posted to Thursday Tree Love

Read Full Post »

Yes, I know, the Poinsettia is the unofficial red flowering plant of the Christmas season — in Mexico, it even shares the name for Christmas Eve, Nochebuena.  However, there is another red flowering plant that provides holiday color this time of year, the Bottle Brush tree (genus, Callistemon).

IMG_2078

On the rooftop, my container-planted Bottle Brush tree.

IMG_2079

Any way you look at it, it brightens the day and brings a bit of Christmas cheer to the garden.

IMG_2080

Bottle Brush, the other red of Christmas!

Read Full Post »

The jacarandas are heralding spring’s approach.

IMG_6046

Bathing in the purple rain as the blossoms fall…

IMG_6044

IMG_6053

IMG_6052

Many thanks to Tatsugoro Matsumoto, one of the first Japanese immigrants to Mexico, for recommending to President Álvaro Obregón that jacaranda trees from Brazil be planted in Mexico City.

IMG_6051

Now, throughout Mexico, underneath the purple rain we walk.  And, this time of year, I always smile, remember, and begin humming Prince’s Purple Rain and Jimi’s Purple Haze.

Read Full Post »

A razor wire (aka, concertina wire) frame for an African Tulip tree blossom.

P1260711

The rainy season not only brings lush greens, it brings the brilliant red-orange of the Árbol de tulipán to Oaxaca.

Read Full Post »

What could be called, A terrace transformedPhase 4, is currently underway at Casita Colibrí.  A highlight is the addition of several trees, including a guava (known here as, guayaba) already bearing fruit.  I see pitchers of agua de guayaba in my future.

Branch with leaves and ripening guava fruit

Once this phase of my growing garden is finished, a blog post will no doubt result.  Stay tuned…

Read Full Post »

Cooking with Juana…  Mangos ripening just out of reach.

Sunlight filtering through the leaves of the granada (pomegranate) tree.

A pomelo (grapefruit) waiting to drop.

There is something to be said for outdoor kitchens.

Save

Save

Read Full Post »

I had put off making the trek down to Soriana long enough.  Supermarkets, even in Mexico, are not one of my favorite destinations and this is one of the smaller and less pleasing stores in the chain.  However, I do enjoy the quiet of the streets on Sunday mornings and besides, I was curious about the drum and bugle corps I could hear practicing.

Stop number 1:  Watching a little drummer girl and boy in the Plaza de la Danza.P1250293

Stop number 2:  Noticing a newly installed cross in the atrium of the Basílica de la Soledad.P1250298

Stop number 3:  Feeling like a queen strolling under a canopy of Royal Poinciana trees (Arbol de flamboyán) on calle Independencia.P1250311_port

A seven minute walk that took twenty seven — that’s how it is in Oaxaca.

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: