Thursday, June 04, 2015
to bee or not to bee
I have finally developed a morning routine amongst the Barragánesque lines of the not-so-new house.
Before I do anything, I get out of bed and head directly to the planters that shield each of the four bedrooms. During the night, the vines drop flowers and leaves.
My goal is to clean up the droppings before they adhere to the concrete. Once that happens, the concrete is very difficult to clean.
It is my homage to the proverbial ounce of prevention. That process usually takes about 4 minutes. That is, until recently.
For the past two weeks, since I have returned from my latest trip, the fallen flowers and leaves have been so thick, my clean-up task each morning has taken close to an hour to complete. I suspect the onset of our hot temperatures and high humidity has caused the increase of detritus. The vines have shown their pleasure with the weather by a sudden growth spurt.
Yesterday, while I was gathering up a bonus supply, due to a freak windstorm the previous night, I noticed what looked like cedar buds on the stairs leading to the upstairs pavilions. Odd. The only plants in that area are two palm trees.
And one of them was the culprit. Since my return, the taller of the two trees has spouted a rather elegant flower spike. It is quite beautiful.
One aspect of my ongoing education in Mexico is the variety of palms that grow here. Well, of course, it is the tropics. And we expect palms in the tropics.
What I did not expect to discover is, with only a couple of exceptions, most of the palms are not indigenous to Mexico. Coconut palms, for instance. The first stock from the plantations in this area were brought here from Asia by the Spanish.
The Spanish were also wise enough to bring Filipino workers who had some idea how to grow coconuts. The state museum in Colima has an interesting display on the topic. According to the exhibit, there is still a strong Filipino influence in Colima state.
But my palm is not a coconut. And I am not certain if it is one of the strains native to Mexico. I researched the internet, but I have discovered that identifying palms is about as difficult as identifying beetles.
So, I do not know much about what is blooming in my courtyard. But, whatever that flower is, it is not stunning simply to me.
The flower has attracted most of the honey bees in my neighborhood. In fact, until this week, I am not certain I have seen a honey bee in the compound. Every morning, the flower spike is covered. (You may need to click on the photograph to appreciate the number of bees.)
The bees are incredibly possessive of their discovery. I could not get as close as I wanted for their Norma Desmond close-up. Whenever I rose higher than the second step, several of them starting buzzing me.
I will leave the bees alone. If they are doing their duty properly, some sort of nut will eventually set from the pollinated buds.
Then, our mystery palm may have a name. Unlike my house.