November at last

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WE HAD TO shove the rainy season out of here this year. It was stubborn.

But now it’s gone, and the best month of each year is upon us, just a bit tardy in arriving. Though November is the best, December can be good too, depending on the mood of Mother Nature.

January and February are too cold (at night) and this can bleed over into March. Then April and May show up, the nastiest months of all. Dry, dusty and, at least upstairs at the Hacienda, way too warm for our druthers.

It seems the rainy season was evicted here Tuesday night by a cold front that, while it did bring some rain, also dropped the temps into the high 30s. It was nasty on Wednesday, got better on Thursday, and then it dawned quite lovely on Friday. which was a typical November day.

I was sprawled on the Jesus Patio yesterday, enjoying the sunny, cool afternoon, doing nothing of note, and watching the chicken walk around the yard.

I noticed a reflection in the living room window, a mirror of the property wall that was behind me, the aloe vera bush and part of the peach tree.

So I snapped the above shot.

Abel the Deadpan Yardman comes this morning to mow the lawn. I’ll ask him to catch the chicken, and maybe he can. I’ll tell him to bring his kids to help.

But yesterday was beautiful. With luck, today will be the same. I’m optimistic because, after all, it’s November, every year’s most delightful month.

Bougainvillea butcher

THE CURSE of my gardening existence, as has often been noted here, is this bougainvillea that I planted when it was in a pot, and then I turned my back on it, so to speak.

When it spotted me otherwise engaged, it exploded — spikes, shedding flowers and all — to its current beastly status, virtually out of control, taunting me daily.

But I am battling back. At least, Abel the Deadpan Gardener is fighting back on my behalf. That’s him Tuesday morning giving the plant some much-deserved discipline.

For contrast, see the photo below that my child bride shot about a month ago as I posed for perspective’s sake.

That’s one big mother. That plant, that is.

But Abel’s labor did not stop there. One of the four ivy plants creeping along the Alamo Wall decided recently to take a dive, in a manner of speaking. It died, and I don’t know why.

It was firmly connected to the rock wall, and difficult to pull off even in its dead state, but Abel did a great job.

With the trimming done, he chopped everything and hauled it away in a wheelbarrow to somewhere out back, down a ravine where it will decompose as Mama Nature intended.

Abel went home with 500 pesos.

Not bad for three hours of work in the sunshine.

The green life

plant

THIS PLANT is about five inches across. It shares a brightly painted, oval, ceramic pot out on the ledge of the veranda with a few other gems of nature.

You see, I’m not just an internet polemicist, I’m an amateur gardener. Lucky for me, gardening here is mostly a matter of digging a hole and sticking something in that hole.

Then all you must do is stand back and wait. This is the sort of gardening I favor. Low effort.

This is ideal for me because I’m not merely an amateur gardener, I’m a lazy gardener. Sometimes it’s so easy that I commit errors in that I plant things I should not plant.

I know I’ve planted something I should not have planted — or quite often that my wife should not have planted because she horns into my territory now and then, creates problems and flees — when it turns into a major headache.

Over this winter, I have eliminated a great amount of greenery that should not have been planted at all. Being a lazy gardener, I get Abel the deadpan neighbor to do the hard part of chopping down and uprooting and toting away.

As reported previously, two of the three stands of banana trees have been eliminated. Not previously reported was a huge, climbing thing that was elbowing the fern on the Alamo Wall and creeping through the roof tiles of one carport.

An identical beast was in a far corner where I periodically had to chop it back to keep it from invading the neighbor’s farm shed. I favor neighborliness even if the neighbors do not.

The upshot of this year’s cutbacks is that there is more open space out in the yard. I wonder what I can fill it with?

The orchid run

patio

A HUGE LIMB fell from an old, towering ash tree on the downtown plaza yesterday, luckily crushing no one passing on the sidewalk far below.

But the limb crashed to the sidewalk with a heavy load of orchids, and people swarmed rapidly, many with plastic bags, to take advantage of the freebie from Mother Nature.

By the time I walked by, not long after the fall, the limb had been picked clean, and workmen with saws were reducing it to manageable pieces for hauling away. The limb was really large.

I contented myself with the thought that I already had orchids living in the peach tree in my yard.