Grappling with greenery … and apples

Philodendron on right. Aloe vera on left.

IT’S OVERCAST this mid-morning and 64 degrees on the upstairs terraza.

Abel the Yardman is coming later to cut the grass, so I decided to do some overdue plant trimming in advance. Out I went at 9 a.m., my tummy full of bagel and cream cheese.

The first victim of my clipping shears was the philodendron Xanadu, which grows here to mammoth proportions. Secondly, I attacked the aloe vera which, similarly, buffs up like mad.

I stacked the philodendron cuttings on the floor of the Garden Patio to be chopped up later and dumped into a very big bag. The aloe vera will be tossed into a ravine out back where I have Abel the Yardman throw green garbage.

Philodendron cuttings await fate on Garden Patio floor.

What about apples? The grumpy neighbors on the side opposite the sex motel have an apple tree abutting our property wall. Little thought was given to placement when they planted it years ago. Now it’s big and leans over our wall insouciantly and dumps apples into the grass in summertime.

How nice, you may think. Actually no. When I find them, they invariably have been gnawed by unknown beasts, leaving them fit for naught good.

I pick them up and throw them away.

But enough of this. I now must water the potted plants on the downstairs veranda. They are thirsty and don’t care that I’m writing this.

Life goes on below the Rio Bravo.

Front & fruit

LAST EVENING, the wind blew, the wind chimes sang, and this morning dawned clear, beautiful and 65 degrees.

A front passed though, I think, but without rain.


The wind also added to my morning fruit sweep. Curses! Every wind, it seems, brings an evil element.

I stepped outside around 8:30 a.m. and saw the grass littered with fallen fruit, more than usual due to the winds.

Big, fat pears all over the place. On the other side, tunas from the towering nopal tree littered the grass. Back to the other end, a new addition from the neighbors, guayabas.

They’ve long had an apple tree extending over the wall. It dumps apples, but not last night.

A guayaba tree now pokes over into our yard, tossing litter. There were scads of guayabas to be scooped up.

serveimage (1)

Lots of care must be taken with the nopal tunas. They are covered with tiny spines that, in your skin, take days to remove. So, leather gloves with the tunas. I wonder why they’re named tunas. There’s nothing fishy about them except their attitudes.

Missing, thank the Goddess, were those apples, lowquats (not quite ripe) and sour orange. They stayed on their limbs.

All the fruit filled a big bucket, which I lugged heavily down the street and heaved into the deep ravine between the roadway and the railroad track.

That done, I could enjoy the lovely morning in peace.

Muffins, apples, rain, death


AWAKENING AFTER an overly rainy day brings many new things, some related to the rain, some not.

1. Fallen apples.  The gumpy neighbors next door have an apple tree that abuts our property wall. It is common for the mentally challenged to plant little things in inappropriate places, not thinking years down the line. And then tall trees grow from small saplings. They outgrow their diapers. The tree now provides two things: apples that often fall on our side and a night roost for their chickens to cackle at us in the mornings.

The apples are nice, and the chickens are, well, poultry. Yesterday’s rain knocked down lots of apples!

2. Dead datura.  I occasionally post photos of our glorious golden datura, and it is glorious indeed for a spell. Then it dies … or is knocked down by heavy rain. This morning I picked up 50-60 datura blooms from the soggy ground. The Lord giveth and She taketh back too. Or rather, She smotes down. Watch out for Her!

3. Dead cat.  At 9 a.m. I drove to the downtown casita to let the maid in for the occasional cleaning. Just across the cobblestone street in a patch of grass was a dead Siamese cat. Her eyes were open, but she was a goner. This has nothing to do with the rain, I guess, but dead cats are not what you want to see when the maid arrives.

4. Muffins.  This too has squat to do with rain or apples or dead datura or stone-cold cats, but I include it here anyway because it is delicious, a positive life thing, which we need at this moment. Those are sweet tater and cinnamon muffins up there, which my child bride has added to her Saturday offerings on the plaza.

The intricate tapestry of life.

Those of you who live far away don’t know what you are missing.