Monday, 19 April 2010

Rain and Reconciliation

     For the past week or so, we have had what must be typified as "early on-set of the May-June-July rainy season".      Measured at the Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre, I have recorded slightly more than 10 inches of rain during the past six days.    Areas to the West of us, along the face of the mountains, have picked up as much as 25 inches during heavy late afternoon and overnight thunderstorms.   The Rio Corona, pictured in the previous blogpost, has gone on about a five or six foot rise....all is suddenly exploding in a green and florid frenzy.

      That is the "Rain" part of the blog title today.   "Reconciliation" is the part that we finally have had to pull the trigger on pruning the damage caused by last December's hard freeze.    That meant taking off all the deadwood from the Royal Poncianas (6),   and much of the lower bouganvillas that were permanently damaged.    The literal mountains of limbs could easily fill a 2.5 ton truck twice.   We shall salvage a bit of the larger Royal Ponciana (Flamboyan) limbs for firewood, and burn the twigs and smaller limbs.

     The good news is that all of the bouganvillas, even the most damaged, are coming back....most are either fully recovered or well on the way to recovery.   The avocado tree at the corner of the house is flourishing, as are our guayaba and the other avacado down a ways from the house.

      We have been inundated, as well, with birds of every predictable description.     There are a few that have not been here least in terms of coming into my view.     We have a bunch of summer tanagers and a large number of tropical robins who have recently arrived.     What I believe to be the white-cheeked yellow warbler has shown up in considerable number.    I am coming to the opinion that this specie is polygamous, because it seems as if there is a brightly coloured male who constantly peeps "wheee...wheee...wheee," always three times.    There will be a delay of about thirty seconds between peeps, and as they move through there are three dowdy looking, probably females of the specie who generally accompany this male.   They do not say much, but rather collect small insects in the end branches of the mesquite, ebony, and other trees.
     Our mulberry is under almost continuous assault by everything from green jays to jackdaws and everything in between....especially in terms of medium-sized perching & songbirds.

     One of our most accomplished followers  e-mailed me several days ago to advise me that my grumbling about the owls whooping like a bunch of one note pan-flutes during the pre-dawn hours would probably stop after "territorial issues are resolved".   He was right.   I think there are a least seven new owl homes on and around the Quinta.

     Of a particularly somber note, the father of the owner of the Hacienda de la Vega, (situated adjacent to the Quinta),  died a little more than a week ago.  He had been dealing with Parkinson's for several years....and did well until about four months ago.   He was brought to the cemetery of the Ejido Francisco I. Madero which is about a quarter mile from the Quinta and the Hacienda de la Vega.   He and his three children were all born at the Hacienda and, of course, are quite a fixture in the sociology of the locale.
     The cemetery is quite rustic and disordered, as are most rural cemeteries in Northern Mexico.   But in the disorder there is a certain order, and records are actually quite good.   The Salazar crypt is, of course, one of the more elaborate and the graveside services, which followed the church funeral in Ciudad Victoria, were reserved and elegant.....literally a ton of "coronas" which are very elaborate round floral arrangements, some as much as six feet in diameter.    Rafael the son moderated a very short service and his son and nephew read and extemporized relatively short eulogies to their grandfather.    Very classy, reserved, and appropriate.     About 300 people attended, of whom about 250 were from the locale.   The church in Victoria had about 1,500 people for the funeral, I am given to understand, both by personal word and by pictures in the newspaper concerning the issue.
      Many people were invited to a tent-covered buffet reception in the front yard of the Hacienda de la Vega, and it was very pleasant.....sad, happy, and pleasant.   Rafael's mother, the widow, was visited by about 50 people there and she seemed tired but relieved.     Thankfully there was no useless wailing nor consumption of scores or hundreds of brandy and tequila and beer bottles while people cried, sang, or blubbered about a person whose personality changed immediately upon death from devil to saint.     That day is probably gone in Mexico, for the most part, thankfully.
      And in truth, Mr. Salazar the deceased was very certainly a kind and reserved gentleman.   He had a true Samaritan impulse and always treated me with something akin to reverence....I have no idea why.     One of his gifts to me early on in the life of the Quinta was an eight page, single spaced synopsis of the early times of the Hacienda de la Vega which explained its past and arrival to the terms of development, agricultural adaptations, and genealogy.   It was a very classy gift which I  continue to refer to as the days go by.

      Flowering of interest??    The wild olive (ananaquita) has covered much of northeastern Mexico with its intense white some places to thickly that it would seem from a near distance that one is seeing patches of 20 acres of snowpack.  The huisache is still coming out, but is somewhat past its prime.   Things are generally very presentable....really nice.

More later.
The Old Gringo