The woodsman


NOW AND THEN, a banana tree has to come down. They make the decision themselves by choosing to be parents, sprouting a banana bunch.

The bananas they sprout, due no doubt to their being out of their natural tropical element hereabouts, are pathetic little things. Parenthood on the mountaintop must be such a bitter disappointment for them.

When a banana tree enters parenthood, it’s the death of her, literally, and she doesn’t die nicely. Her offspring, dangling there on an outstretched limb, start sloughing off crap which litters the ground, making a mess.

I detest them for it.

I have often planted things in the yard that sounded like a great idea at the time. Trumpet vines, magueys, ground cover, banana trees, other stuff I cannot name. I now curse them all.

And I’ve removed them all, sometimes at great effort. The only exception are the three stands of bananas that started with three little trees that were knee-high to a grasshopper back then. A Gringo who lived here years ago, Roy Reynolds, told me when I planted them:

You’re gonna regret that.  Alas, I ignored him.

This morning I headed out to the stand inside the property wall against the front street. There were two, towering mamas there with their nasty little kiddies tossing crap all over the cement-and-rock ground. I had a wheelbarrow, hedge trimmers and a pruning saw.

paulLuckily, neither tree fell on me as they thundered to the ground. Neither did they drop on nearby planters or the Olmec head. Banana trees can be very heavy, but they are easy to cut.

I ended up with two wheelbarrow loads, which I toted to the Garden Patio out back and dumped on the cement floor. I always feel winded after these tasks. Perhaps I should hire someone, but I keep thinking I can do anything — and so far I can.

I will, however, employ Abel the deadpan neighbor who mows the grass weekly to come over and haul them to a ravine just past his house. He likes to earn pesos, and I like to pay him. Easier that way.

* * * *

(Note: Due to cancer, I have been bald since last Sunday. Details here.

11 thoughts on “The woodsman

  1. When someone tells you are going to regret something, listen and ask why? I regretfully have learned that lesson more than once.


  2. Quote (author unknown): A bad decision is better than indecision. On the other hand, indecision is a decision.


    1. Carole: I’ve made quite a few bad decisions regarding the yard. Ignorance was the cause, but I’m learning.

      Had a happy thing happen today. Even though Abel the Deadpan Neighbor mows my lawn weekly, I’ve still been doing the edging with the Weedeater. Twice before, over the years, I’ve put the Weedeater in the hands of hirelings who invariably broke them.

      This afternoon, driving a block from the Hacienda, I spotted a guy with a Weedeater and a gas tank in his hand, walking down the street. I stopped him to ask if he would do my yard. He said he’d be here at 10 a.m. mañana. Pray that it is so. Few things I would love to dodge these days more than the weedeating. Actually, any yard work whatsoever.


  3. Even though I can’t stand bananas, I love my banana trees, even with their tendency to procreate and die. You just never know when the urge to wrap something in the leaves, make cochinita pibil, or make tamales oaxaquenos will hit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ms. Shoes: The primary reason I don’t have the banana trees removed is that I like the tropical look, in spite of the downsides of having them.

      As for cooking, every few months someone will be at the front gate from the cooking school on the nearby plaza to ask for some banana leaves. The stand near the front street reach over the wall, so they’re visible from outside. They have found me out.


  4. I love the tropical look of banana trees too. I also like that photo of the leaf. I would say you should pay some pesos and get someone to do all the yard work for you, but it seems that might fall on deaf ears. And lastly, I like your bald noodle.


    1. Angeline: Now I’ve got one vote for the bald noodle and one against. Actually, it’s not bald. It’s bald-ish. As for paying someone to do the yard work, I already do pay for most of it and, with luck, I’ll start having someone else do the weedeating mañana.


  5. So you haven’t given up on the ravine then, but merely hired a Mexican front man?

    You wicked Gringo!!!


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where, conveniently, the city collects yard waste every other week, though we try to compost as much as possible.


    1. Kim: Jeez, what a memory you have. Actually, it’s not the same ravine. It’s on the other side of the street, and he dumps into it from the street out back, so his doing so is not nearly so visible to the passing world. The street out back is a dead end.

      But basically, yes, you are correct. I am fast to point out that it’s all biodegradable, green stuff. No real harm done.

      Liked by 1 person

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