The perfect calm

A wren landed on my shoulder. Instinctively, I flinched and she bound away. I was dozing because I was in the perfect calm.

It was just past noon on the yard patio.

There are temperatures too high, temperatures too low, and there is the perfect temperature. This is a personal issue, a subjective thing.

On this midday, I am under the Big Brown Umbrella, stretched out in a webbed chair, enveloped in our perfect temperature, probably the high 60s. Our perfect temperature has wiggle room, not cast in rock.

The perfect temperature is a prerequisite for the perfect calm, which I am also in.  There is musical backdrop to this. Distant roosters … the flutter of songbirds at the nearby birdbath … visual strokes provided by the orange bush before me where legions of little bees buzz from one blossom to the other. Also, a wasp or two and a black moth who perhaps resents so much busy company.

A gentle breeze under a blue, partly cloudy sky inspires the wind chimes. Daily rains have resurrected the sweet alyssum from its winter doldrums. And then a wren lands on my shoulder.

Had she not startled me, landed on my knee perhaps where I would have recognized her right off, I would not have flinched.

She would have stayed put. We might have begun a conversation, an exchange, a startling breakthrough between species.

Many things are possible in a perfect calm.

Perhaps she’ll come back, give it another shot.

Plants, birds & plugs

This morning.

After assaulting three arrogant bougainvillea bushes and two of their allies with sharp clippers early today, I rested on the downstairs terraza, atop a rocker, and enjoyed what remained of the morning. As I sat there with a juice my child bride had made, a black-vented oriole landed on the edge of the birdbath for a sip. I did not have my camera.

He flew away.

I remained on the rocking chair. A few minutes later he returned for more water. I still did not have my camera. I cursed my luck. He flew away. I remained on the rocker. A few minutes later he returned and sat on a bougainvillea near the birdbath. Still, no camera. I cursed. He flew away. I stood up and grabbed the Canon which was on a table just inside the front door. I sat on the rocker again. The bird never came back.

Also this morning.

Spring has been strange. After about a week of warmer, stuffier weather, which is normal for spring, it changed its tune and got cool again, so my wife caught a nasty cold three days ago because she was dressed at night for a normal spring. She’s feeling better today.


And now, a plug

Few passersby notice, I think, but there is quite a list of links nearby to other fascinating elements of The Moon. It’s to your right on a PC, but I suspect fewer people use PCs these days, favoring phones and tablets where those links are less obvious.

One in particular that ran as a series here years ago but now has its own website is The Old Marbol, which is the name of a hotel in Dark City. Many strange people work at The Old Marbol, people like Billy Lancing who’s a red-headed negro; Lenny Slick, a dim-witted desk clerk addicted to phrenology; Maxence, a retired mercenary who loved Chloë Jomo-Gbomo; and Beauregard Lee Johnston, a gay guy from the Old South.

Most importantly is Kristanbel Wasoo who was born bad, beautiful and heartless. She loves dark ale and bloody roast beef sandwiches. She murders people. Here is a full cast of characters. I used to write short fiction, but I have stopped because my well ran dry.

But the Old Marbol Hotel lives on in Dark City.

Great white hunter

As Papa Hemingway once posed with his lion prey on the plains of Africa, I am posing with my prey in the Garden Patio on Easter Sunday.

Sure, those lions were tough customers, but so are my huge philodendron fronds. Papa could have left the lions in peace — they weren’t bugging him — but the same cannot be said about the philodendron I foolishly planted in the yard years ago.

Today they felt some sharp discipline, something that must be done every couple of months or so. Now I must chop them into smaller pieces and toss them into a huge plastic bag that will be delivered to a dumpster downtown.

I wonder what Papa did with his lions. No clue.

Other things bother me: illegal aliens in the form of Eurasian collared doves who only arrived in Mexico in recent years sans visa. They’re not as bad as regular pigeons, but it’s a close call. They’ve taken up residence in the dead fronds hanging up high on my towering fan palm, something else I stupidly planted years back. Will I never learn?

Actually, I have learned and learned well. I don’t plant anything anymore that may turn into a bothersome behemoth. I just plant nice things, and darn little of that too.

Before I removed the monster bougainvillea that once towered over the property wall, tossing dead flowers not only on my yard but onto the driveway of the sex motel next door, Eurasian collared doves lived in that plant too, hidden from view.

Now they’ve moved into the fan palm, and I make their lives swell because they use my ceramic birdbath for drinking and recreation. They’re like illegal aliens in California, treated nicely. They have found a bird sanctuary, but what I need is a shotgun.

Life is full of challenges, and Easter Sunday doesn’t change that.

Days of our lives

YESTERDAY WE ate tuna lasagna in The Lasagna Factory in the nearby capital city. We wanted vegetarian, but none was available. So tuna it was, and it was good.

Then we visited Costco and Chedraui for various staples before heading home to our mountaintop abode where peace reigns.

This morning I stepped out to the service patio and noticed, just past the steel stairway to the kitchen roof, a sizable spray of bird crap and a baby bird, deceased. Crap! I uttered to no one in particular. I glanced up, way up, and saw no nest. Strange.

I swept up the birdie corpse, tossed it in the trash outside in the Garden Patio, returned and looked up again, which is when I saw movement. Here’s the situation: There is a huge wasp nest up there, long abandoned, and so high I had never knocked it down.

Swallows had somehow turned a part of the wasp nest, a part that was drooping, into a home of their own, and there’s a family there, minus the one who plunged to his demise. I’ll keep an eye on the situation, and when the little buggers bugger off, the extension ladder will put me within range to knock the whole shebang down, and I will.

Why can’t swallows mind their own business? Nest under bridges or in the house of the people out back who blare music too loud? Where is the justice?


Tomorrow will be a big day here. More plant murder is planned.

The monster aloe vera which resides at the bedroom corner in what I’ve long called the Willy Nilly Zone will be uprooted and toted to God knows where.

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That aloe vera will go, but the datura will stay.

We once had three of these big babies, but Abel the Deadpan Yardman removed one a few years back. It was somewhat smaller than the one in the photo. I have a crew coming in the morning with machetes and a pickup truck.

It’s the same crew that removed the towering nopal, the monster bougainvillea and the annoying loquat tree.

After that’s done, Abel comes the following day, and I’m going to have him remove most everything in that area. It’s not clear from the photo, but there are tons of weeds. I will plant new stuff, but not plants that grow enormous.

More on this in a few days.


Our mayor has tested positive for the Kung Flu virus. He posted a video announcement on Facebook yesterday while sitting at a desk, which I assume is in his home, in normal clothes, wearing a facemask, to say he’s staying put for two weeks.

He’s a real glad-hander, so his getting Kung Flu is no shock. I wish him a speedy recovery, or maybe he’ll be one of those who never show symptoms, if such a thing exists.

He looked fine in the video.


In closing, here’s a little humor on the state of America. I might make this a recurring feature. Send me stuff.

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