Watch out below!


OUR TOWERING nopal tree is no more.

A crew came this morning, chopped it down and hauled it away.

What’s next? The prolific pear? The dreadful peach? The horrendous bougainvillea? I want them all gone. I prefer a nice rock-and-concrete yard with ceramic decorations, nothing that grows to give me headaches.

Going …
Going …

25 thoughts on “Watch out below!

  1. You just had the wrong plants. None of those exactly give off warm and cuddly vibes. What you need are a magnolia,a nice palm tree, some night-blooming jasmine or huele del noche, lavender, maybe a kumquat and gardenias, but I know the odds of you getting those are only slightly higher than getting a dog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ms. Shoes: Lordy, I loathe magnolias, the sickly, sweet smell, the nuked area below them, the sagging branches. As for a palm, I have a very nice fan palm that I also planted when it was tiny. It now soars higher than the nopal, and does not heave trash. We also have jasmine, but I need to prop it up better. You can see it in the photos against the wall. It has white flowers. Never noticed it smelling much. Maybe it’s the wrong variety. Don’t have kumquat, but we do have loquat, which also tosses trash like nobody’s business. I’d like to get rid of it too, but my child bride is fond of it. Time will tell.

      I like dogs, but for other people. A dog would poop in the yard. Why must they poop so?


  2. I had a nopal about that size, but one day, I heard a noise outside, and the yard guys were chopping it up to pieces. My wife had taken a dislike to it. There was no advance notice from her, just the vicious chopping of the mojados.

    The type common here are the Burbank variety. Less thorns, but a lot of tiny spines. They are the devil to deal with. The customary way to remove the spines from the hands is the rub the hands in one’s hair.

    They were in almost everyone’s yard years ago. I still see rows of them on vacant lots that were once Mexican barrios. The pencas were delicious when young and tender. They were best sauteed with pork. They yield a lot of slime, but when that cooks off, they are ready to be eaten.

    I am afraid you may eventually regret this scorched earth policy.


    1. Señor Gill: I will not regret the scorching of the earth. It’s only just begun. Nice plants will stay. Nasty ones will go.

      I don’t like to eat nopales either, even though they are very popular in these parts. As for your wife zapping your nopal with no warning, I suggest couples counseling.


      1. While living in CDMX I used to sauté onions and nopales together with soy sauce. Though not particularly Mexican, it was yummy. And nopal is very good for your digestion. Maybe you can try it that way.


        Kim G
        Redding, CA
        Where I theoretically should be able to get nopal in the market, though I haven’t noticed it.


      2. I’m sorry, but I had to laugh when you suggested couples counseling to Señor Gill for his wife cutting down the tree without warning, That was too funny .


    1. Some of God’s greatest blessings are unanswered prayers. With palm trees come pigeons and their mess.


      1. Señor Gill: Never seen a pigeon in my yard. Can’t say the same for the center of town on the main plaza. It’s an increasing plague. A few years back we wrote a letter to the mayor asking that signs be placed in the plaza saying, Don’t Feed the Pigeons. He ignored us.

        Nincompoops are down there feeding the nasty things on a regular basis and, not surprisingly, there are far more pigeons than a few years ago. They are creating a real mess in the attics of the ancient colonial buildings down there.


  3. I find it amusing to watch Mexicans take down a “tree” like yours. Lots of hacking away with machetes or whatever other sharp implement they can find. It’s almost like an execution. Have they never heard of chainsaws ? Gloves would be nice too.


    1. Brent: Our neighbor next door has a tall tree of some sort in his yard. Every few years he cuts it waaaaay back. He does this by climbing up high and starts whacking away with a machete. It’s amusing to watch.

      Yeah, I was wondering the same thing about our removal this morning, especially the lack of gloves. That nopal is one mean SOB. You don’t really need a chainsaw with a nopal because it’s very soft wood.


    1. Ray: There will be no parking where the nopal once towered. We’ll gradually be collecting more ceramic/clay/metal artwork for the yard. It does not shed, and it requires little to no maintenance. I have my priorities, good ones.


  4. I don’t like them either in the yard. The do have a tendency to have limbs break off and fall making a real mess. They are pretty out in the desert where they belong, so all the little critters can make homes and nests in and around them, bees have something to pollinate. Bees love their blossoms, and the natives love the tunas and new pads that become nopales (yuck).


    1. Peggy: We are of one mind. They are nice out in the countryside. I made a big mistake (out of ignorance) when I planted that baby in my yard. I never dreamed it would grow to such proportions. I had one in a planter barrel in my yard in Houston for years, and it never did squat. So you don’t like to eat nopales either. Slimy little things.


  5. I was sad when I saw that you were cutting down the trees, because I love trees but understood why if they are too much work.


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