The painted earth


DECEMBER BRINGS orange-colored tangerines, and April produces rosy, yellow mangoes.

Purple jacaranda comes in April too. You cannot eat jacaranda. You cannot peel it like a tangerine, or stir it with onion, cilantro and oil for a nice salad, as you can with a sliced mango. What jacarandas do is paint the earth. Bougainvillea is a Picasso too, but let’s stick to jacaranda now.

When we moved into the Hacienda 11 years back, I planted a jacaranda in the yard. I wanted a purple lawn now and then, and I wanted to look overhead to see an amethyst sky because jacarandas grow tall and grand.

It wasted no time in dying, the defeatist little bugger.

Just as well because the ground in which I planted that little jacaranda is now solid concrete, a floor of the garden patio that hides behind a wall that had not even been considered when I planted the jacaranda.

But I still see amethyst skies and purple earth because jacarandas are all around. There’s a tall one about two blocks away that I see right now through the window over this computer screen. Another stands high behind the 500-year-old church steeple on the neighborhood plaza. I see that mornings as we do our power walk.

On the far side of that same plaza, behind the red tile roofs of the portal, rises a jacaranda resplendent in mauve. I saw that one and smiled just moments ago when I returned from downtown in the Honda.

It’s okay that there’s no jacaranda in my yard. I don’t have to deal with a sea of purple leaves that at some point must be dealt with. I already have enough work raking reams of defeated bougainvillea blooms.

I have the best vantage point in this purple world of April — all see, no work.

I wish I could say the same of bougainvillea.

11 thoughts on “The painted earth

  1. I will stake my primavera against your jacaranda any day. Well, any day in the couple of weeks they bloom. I will pass on both when it comes time to tidy up.


    1. Steve: Your spring would be even more abundant due to your, er, “living” on the tropical coast. Here in the high mountains I’m always surprised at the exuberance of plants. Doesn’t even get hot here. Must prove that the latitude matters more than temperature.


      1. We are going to have to take Steve into our custody during his next trip to God’s Country and show him the bio-diversity surrounding Patzcuaro and Uruapan.

        Jacarandas are like mariachis: best observed from a distance. I am convinced that the makers of Allegra are in conspiracy with jacaranda proponents.


        1. Ms. Shoes: Never having had an allergy problem, I had to look up Allegra. Live and learn.

          As for moving Steve’s occasional Mexican home to more sensible zones, I think that is a lost cause. He is, as they say, unteachable.


      2. The purple, jacaranda carpet, is intriguing. I prefer it to the yellow, even though, primavera means Spring. Mountain weather makes sense for people that need to get away from the heat, for a spell. Me, rather be in Zihua weather right now.


        1. Andean: You are quite right that mountain weather is right for people fleeing heat. Since I lived in sweaty climes all my life before heading over the border, I came to the mountains. Love it. Beaches are good for vacations, not living, in my opinion. Plus, I have no high electric bills due to AC.


  2. Beautiful. I don’t think I ever saw this tree on my trips to Honduras.
    About the same color as wisteria is here, which as you know is a nasty vine that will get away from you quickly. I like wisteria, though, as long as it is on property that I don’t have to tend.


    1. Ray: I grabbed that photo out of cyberspace. It’s not local. However, we get that much coverage and more, so it paints a true picture. Hope your next trip over the border is to my little town, not Honduras. You have a free townhouse waiting for you and yours.


  3. I always enjoy driving in Guadalajara. Their streets in several colonias are filled with multi-colored trees, reds, purples, yellows and orange. Nature’s color is indeed slick.

    We have both jacarandas and bougainvilleas, and the spoils of their bloom.


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