Passing the torch

cigaro
The final red-hot of this year … I suspect.

EVERY SUMMERTIME, our cigarro plants erupt with flowers. In Mexico it’s called the cigarro, but above the border it’s called the red-hot poker, which is more fun, I think.

By the way, cigarro does not mean cigar. It means cigarette. Puro means cigar. I used to smoke both and pipes too. Now I smoke nothing.

Starting in September or late August, the aloe vera monstrosities begin to bloom, so the two overlap a bit. Then the pokers quiet down, and toss the torch to the aloe veras.

aloe
Oddly, the aloe vera blooms are almost identical to the pokers.

All of these things keep it quite colorful here at the Hacienda, which is always a hoot.

A small pretender

ABOUT 7 P.M. yesterday, I was sitting on a web chair in the yard patio, enjoying life.

I had come home about an hour previously and, after changing the birdbath water, wiping the glass patio table, the chairs too, I took a seat to enjoy the view.

The August air was cool.

I noticed something zooming about the bush just in front of me. It appeared to be the smallest hummingbird in the world, and it was visiting orange blossoms. Could that be a hummingbird? It was so tiny. And it appeared black and white.

I stood for a closer look, but it dashed to the other side of the orange bush and vanished off somewhere. I came inside for internet sleuthing.

It was a hummingbird moth. I had never heard of such a thing. It comes in two varieties, the Clearwing Moth and the White-Lined Sphinx. Mine was the latter. Here is some interesting information. The video, which isn’t mine, is not too clear because they are hard to tape.

Its range is from Central America to Canada, but I’d never seen one. Unlike most moths who are night creatures, hummingbird moths gad about in daylight.

Life’s full of surprises.

hummingbird-hawk-moth-mircea-costina
Still shot that I found online.

Battling the bushes

twins
Aloe vera on the left, philodendron on the right. Both growing again.

THURSDAY MORNINGS there’s a mercado on the neighborhood plaza just down the way. Mostly, it’s fruits and veggies, but you can also find fresh fish flopping atop a tarp on the sidewalk, and used clothing and deep-fried pigskin from a copper vat.

What you cannot find, at least today, are decent avocados. Prices are really high lately, and one effect of that is that street vendors do not buy them to sell because they don’t sell. You can still find avocados easily in supermarkets, however.

Returning home following my morning exercise walk, I looked about the yard. The rainy season does good things and bad things too. All have to do with rampant growth. The grass gets green (good), and it must be mowed (bad).

Plants that were chillin’ over winter and spring muscle up. Habitual passers-by here at The Unseen Moon will recall that I’ve eliminated quite a few yard plants over the last year or so, to my happiness and my child bride’s dismay.

Some, like the cursed peach tree and monster pear tree, are gone altogether. Here’s a shot from 2015. That’s the peach on the left. The pear is barely visible farther on, right side. Also, you’ll notice the old, stone Jesus Patio.

old
Olden days. Funky, funky and more funky.

We now sport a cleaner look.

new
These days. Sleek and fresh. Time to party!

That big aloe vera in the top photo is whacked back a bit, something I did this morning. I also trimmed the other aloe vera that sits outside our bedroom. I did that a couple of days ago. The cuttings rest in what I call the Garden Patio, below.

Abel the Deadpan Yardman will be here Saturday to mow the grass and weedeat. I’ll have him haul the aloe vera cuttings down the street where he’ll toss them into the ravine.

pile
Lots of burn treatment available in this pile.

Remember the colossal bougainvillea I had removed a few months ago? Here’s how she looked then with my child bride providing size perspective.

bougain

And then I had her removed, all but the base.

New Image

But like an unruly woman, she’s reasserting herself, but I’ve got the upper hand now and will bend her to my considerable will. She’ll learn who’s her Daddy.

bougain baby
Just you wait, Dearie.

In an ideal world, plants with attitude would be eliminated completely from the Hacienda property, and only polite ones would stay put.

shade
Yellow looks nice. Bugs love to get between the net and the glass. Then they die.

In other news, the fellows who installed the shade netting in the renovated upstairs terraza last month will return today or tomorrow to remove the yellow net we chose at first. The reason is that it hangs below the glass domo, trapping bugs which then die there. Due to the light color of the net, the bug graveyard is horribly visible. Creepy.

So the yellow netting will be removed, and a darker, greenish one will be installed atop the glass, not below. This will also add a bit of protection against hail damage.

Never a dull moment. And if you read this far down, a Gold Star and Honorable Mention will be added to your permanent record. Congrats.

Wondering about it all

New Image
Sweet alyssum’s white flowers come to life in the summer.

IT BLEW SO hard last night the broom fell over.

Out on the downstairs terraza, that is. I heard nothing when it happened, just noticing it this morning. Around midnight I got out of the king bed to close the windows in case rain was coming in. Normally, the golden datura bush just outside that window blocks most rain, but you can never take it to the bank.

This morning I found a pool on the renovated upstairs terraza, so I swept it out through the inadequate drain hole. The guys are coming tomorrow (they say) to install the final canvas curtain, which will close off three of the four compass directions.

Right now, we remain at 50-50.

After bagels and cream cheese (lite) with black café Americano, we sat a spell, our morning breather, on the scarlet sofa with soft music, and I thought: Well, this sure is fine. One wonders that if life ends well it cancels or justifies the grief of the past.

Then we got up and started morning chores.