Curse of bougainvillea

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THE ABOVE SHOWS just a small portion of the fallen bougainvillea leaves I must remove on a regular basis. My patience is running short.

More than 15 years back I planted many things in our yard that I have grown mightily to regret. The nopal tree, now gone. Two pear trees, gone. Peach tree, gone. There are only two major nuisances left, the bougainvillea and a very large loquat.

Just this week, I noticed that a freaking, nasty pigeon is nesting deep in the bougainvillea, no doubt producing more of those large pests. I would remove the nest if I could see it or reach it, but the plant is so thick, that’s next to impossible.

I see her dive in there and disappear. Then there are maternal clucking sounds! If  I’m walking along our sidewalk, and she’s gliding toward the hidden nest, she abruptly detours on spotting me. She thinks I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m sharper than a pigeon.

The damnable pigeon occasionally sits and craps atop the steel superstructure where our upstairs terraza dome will be installed. (Glass is en route, by the way.) Pigeons are a relatively new element in my hardscrabble barrio. I only noticed the first one about a year ago, and now they’re making themselves at home.

If I only possessed a shotgun!

The large plaza downtown is overrun with pigeons now, and people feed them! Welcome! They roost in the attics of the old Colonial buildings surrounding the plaza, making a horrible mess. We wrote a letter to the mayor a few years back, suggesting he put signs on the plaza forbidding the feeding of pigeons.

He ignored us, and the pigeon population continues to swell.

On a positive note, the days now consist of blue skies and cool-enough temperatures. Not only are bougainvillea blooming all over town, but spectacular jacaranda trees too.

And the first flower of our golden datura appeared by the Alamo Wall this week.

Other current events: At this moment, just after High Noon, the folks who live in the hovel out back are blaring music to one and all. Luckily, that side of the Hacienda has no windows save a small one in the upstairs bathroom, so the noise is not a problem.

This afternoon we’ll be lunching at a health-food joint by the docks. Haven’t been there in many a month. Should arrive about 2 p.m. Come join us if you like. Dutch Treat, of course. We’re fixed-income pensioners.

Then later we’ll drive downtown for a stroll around the Semana Santa market that covers the plaza. Some interesting things on sale, but the Day of the Dead market is superior.

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Note: The horror story I mentioned about a week ago likely will appear here on Saturday. I’ve emerged from the grim tale intact. Stay tuned, as they say.

Mountain autumn

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SAY WHAT you will about spring. Fall is the best time. Of course, this depends on where you are.

If you live somewhere with sweltering summers, then spring is just an introduction to suffering. Autumn would be the door to pain closing behind you. Time to rejoice.

Most of my life was spent in zones with sweltering summers, so I’m an autumnal man. Falling leaves and shades of brown put a lively spring to my faltering steps.

If you can vision such a thing.

Eating a bagel this morning, I looked out the huge window to the right and noticed falling, yellow leaves from the peach tree. Ah, I thought, the feel and look of fall.

It’s cool out too.

Winter here is not too bad if you don’t mind coats and scarves inside the house in the morning, and I don’t mind.

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Here I am drinking hot coffee on a winter morning years ago. My child bride knitted that wool scarf for me.

Another sweet aspect to fall here is that it stops raining. November is our best month. It’s not raining, and everything is still green, not the dusty brown of springtime.

November also brings the Day of the Dead.

But we’re not in November yet. It’s something I look forward to and, in the meantime, I eat my bagels, look out the window and smile at the leaves falling from the peach tree.

As I type this, there is lively music from the neighborhood plaza. It’s been going full-tilt boogy since dawn. I have no clue what we’re celebrating. Perhaps the falling leaves.

More likely some long-gone saint.

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(Note: That top photo was a zoom test on my new camera. I was a long way off. That arch and the carport roof are inside the Hacienda walls, and I was half a block away.)