21 May 2010

Another Mystery Solved

The big picture, then, in terms of the immediate future is this. I am still determined to become involved in some program for the benefit of children or some program for the benefit of the poor or in the best of all possible worlds, some program for the benefit of poor children.

The first priority right now, however, is to get these legs of mine back in top shape including a tan. . .like for example as they were when Rick the Sailor and I were up in St. Paul two years ago to raise hell with the Republicans in the street outside their convention:

I have since conceded that I was absolutely wrong to participate in all that. All evidence since then indicates that McCain, Palin, et al., were correct on every count. Totally unregulated capitalism is the way to go. Therefore, I apologize publicly here for crashing that party.

In any event, I read in the Times that they are in the process of "taking back their government" now in 2010; so apparently no permanent damage was done.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Speaking of repetitiveness, how sick of my writing about El Charco del Ingenio Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve some of you must be. I cannot help it. I love the place.

My friend, Fred, with whom I do the hikes and ride the bicycle on occasion, now leads tours out there on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We took the tour with him yesterday.

This is inside the whatchamacallit where the rare and sensitive plants are grown. I had not been inside this before.

This is a cactus from Baja California that has adapted to growing flat on the ground because of the high winds up there.

Did you ever focus on the fact that cacti are only native to the Americas? Well, okay. There is one cactus species that also grows in parts of Asia, but it does not even look like a cactus. Nope. For all intents and purposes, cacti only grow in the Southwestern United States, Mexico, and Brazil. That is what Fred said anyway. Perhaps I misunderstood.

The main point of this entry is that another mystery has been solved courtesy of El Charco. Last October 18 I wrote of mysterious installations outside La Parroquia. They looked like this, for instance:

I have now learned that these displays were originally constructed by the indigenous people and are now constructed by Mexicans of all ethnicities as offerings of a sort. The name in Spanish is suchil. This is one of those practices from the indigenous peoples' ancient religions that was incorporated into their practice of Christianity after the big mass conversion in the 1500's.

These suchiles are constructed in great part from a plant called cucharilla. So much cucharilla has been harvested in Mexico for this purpose that the plant has become an endangered species. It is propagated at El Charco, and free seedlings are handed out in the hopes that people will plant them.

Agave americana in full bloom.

Señor Steve, species Homo sapiens, in full bloom.

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