Time to pucker up!

My patch of parasitic mistletoe.

A couple of months ago when we were still in winter and the bush — hibiscus, I think — in which this thing resides was still lacking its leaves, I noticed a patch of something green sitting there alone. Looks like mistletoe, I muttered as I continued on with life.

This morning, I took a photo using a plant-identification app and, sure enough, it’s mistletoe. I mentioned this to my child bride and, after the appropriate smootch below the mistletoe, she said she’d never heard of it. It must not be “a thing” in Mexico.

Hibiscus, I think.

The plant on which the mistletoe lives — mistletoe is a parasite — is, I believe, a form of hibiscus. The plant-ID app was unsure. When we moved into the Hacienda 18 years ago, it was living cheek-to-jowl against a loquat tree where some nincompoop had planted it. I uprooted it and planted it over thataway a bit, giving it space.

The hibiscus — and let’s assume that’s what it is — flowers now and then, kinda pretty, and it does not toss trash all over the place, so I’ve left it in peace. Longtime readers here know that I am a plant predator, quite the killer when it suits me, and it suits me when a plant becomes a nuisance, mostly by tossing trash.

When we moved here, there was a fig bush where one of the carports now sits, so it was removed, which is a shame because I like figs.

The skeletal loquat.

Not far off is the loquat tree which grew like mad, tossing loquats all over the place where they rotted on the ground. Tossed big, ugly leaves too, much like those of a magnolia, which is a yucky tree, I think, in spite of my being a son of the Old South.

Rhett Butler and all that.

Alas, my child bride is excessively fond of loquats and the tree on which they grew maniacally. But she didn’t have to deal with the constant mess and work, so her vote was of less value than mine.

I am a kind husband, however, so I did not remove it. I only cut it back, way, way back, and I maintain it as you see in the photo, a half-alive zombie.

When I die, she can let it go whole hog again and, believe me, it will.

It needs a trellis.

Let us further milk the gardening topic today. While the Hacienda was under construction in 2003, I planted five bougainvillea bushes along the property wall you see in these photos. Two promptly died. Of the remainers, one was very different. It does not go berserk, and at times during the year it’s all flowers. It’s my best bougainvillea buddy.

But the best gardening news of the day is that we have mistletoe, which gives my child bride another reason to kiss me, even though she’d never heard of mistletoe. You get your kisses where you can. That’s always been my philosophy.

Good Friday road trip

Dishwasher in the restaurant.

We took a drive this afternoon and ate in one of our favorite restaurants on the northwest side of our huge, high-mountain lake. I had a plate of fried shrimp and my child bride ate mojarra. She deemed it great, but I never order things that come to me with eyeballs.

The restaurant overlooks our lake and, as we were leaving, I took this shot.

There are worse places to live.

Returning to the Hacienda, about a 30-minute drive on a two-lane, rural highway, we passed some interesting places. Outside a town called Tzintzuntzan — can you say that? — is a business of stone-cutters. And then farther on, a business that sells wood stuff. It’s fun to look at these things and see how imaginative people are, especially the stone workers.

Now that’s a lot of rock. This shows about 15 percent of what’s there.
Not sure I’d want this fellow in my yard, but there’s someone over his right shoulder who’s praying for him. This guy looks like I felt when Trump “lost” the election.
Wood, wood, wood! I like wood, but I like stone more.

There are lots of these types of businesses in our neck of the Mexican woods. It’s one of the many reasons to live here. Plus big plates of fried shrimp and mojarra.

The garden tales

I FIND IT useless when people post photos of flowers. You can find zillions of flower photos online. No matter. Here I go.

Some readers may recall that last spring I butchered the monster bougainvillea that had lived in the yard for many years. Here is how it looked before the bloodletting. My child bride poses for the purpose of perspective. Both are beauties.

bougain
The before shot.

And here just below is how it look skinned.

stump
The after shot.

And here just below again is how it looks today.

today
The today shot.

It’s about four feet high. The only reason it’s not bigger is that I maintain stern discipline. When the Hacienda was under construction over 17 years ago I foolishly planted five or six little bougainvilleas along the far wall. A couple died, a few did not.

bougs
Hearty survivors.

These are two of the survivors from 2002. They too are subjected to a heavy hand. The near one began to creep over the wall into the neighbors’ yard about five years ago, but I cut it back, and began applying discipline. Without discipline, a bougainvillea will make you his bitch. It can get quite ugly.

Oddly, of the original bougainvilleas from 2002, one is a different strain. It was unintentional. It looks different and does not want to rule the world. I like it.

frogflower
A rare, polite bougainvillea.

That’s it behind the frog. It appears to be growing out of the frog, but it’s not. It’s planted in the ground. This bougainvillea is the only well-behaved one of the cursed bunch.

Speaking of curses, remember the monster nopal I removed back in October 2018? The neighbors planted at least two of those nasty babies right up against my wall — the property wall is mine, not theirs — some spell back, and now they’re topping the wall and likely will start creating problems before long, throwing their spiky fruits with red stain onto my grass. Here below you see the cursed things.

Mine grew about 30 feet high before I slashed it down.

noopal
A new development, alas.

Maybe some dark night, I should toss some plant killer over there.

Why can’t people be good neighbors? Perhaps you are thinking, Why don’t you speak with the neighbors? Because I know full well it would be useless. They are sullen.

The bougainvillea shot

bougain

IT’S THAT TIME of year again, the time for the annual bougainvillea shot.

I include my child bride for the sake of perspective. And, as in all years, the monster plant has been trimmed back. Abel the Deadpan Yardman did that about two months ago in winter. Yes, this is the trimmed-back look.

My child bride is dressed for the gym, by the way, an every-Monday occurrence, along with each Wednesday and Friday.

Now that I have removed the behemoth nopal, the too-tall, trash-tossing pear, another smaller pear and the trash-tossing peach tree, this beefed-up bougainvillea is the lone, remaining yard annoyance. Perhaps one day I’ll have it removed too.

It is rather attractive, however, and it does not toss rotten fruit, just dead blooms.

When I walked toward the kitchen this morning not long after dawn, I noticed this light play on the wall of the living room, so I photographed it.

It’s a colorful world.

morn