31 August 2012

The Peruvian Pepper Tree

I have received several emails inquiring after the welfare of the Peruvian Pepper tree next to my patio, I suppose because it has been some time since I mentioned it. I can report that the Peruvian Pepper, with which I enjoy a special relationship, is thriving in this rainy season.

The tree is closer to my second floor patio than the lens of the camera makes it appear in this photo. It is said that this species, more properly called a Perule, is a weedy kind of tree that develops a bushy structure if not constantly trimmed. Apparently, Señora Maria, my landlord, subscribes to this view.

Formerly, the branches of the tree hung over my patio and down upon it such that one had to dodge those branches on the way from the top of the steps to the front door. Upon my last return in March after an absence up north, I found that Pedro, on the Señora's orders, had cut back the tree severely, so severely that I had to purchase that elaborate umbrella to shade the patio. (More about that in the video at the bottom of the 29 March entry here.) I was shocked but eventually reconciled myself to this by acknowledging in my own mind that the Peruvian Pepper is, after all, her tree.

It is putting out its fruit now that develops into small, hard, red berries. They actually do taste like pepper.

It is a fast growing tree. Soon--"soon" in the cosmic scheme of things--its branches will again hang over my patio. I am hoping that this occurs at just about the same time that the high altitude sun has destroyed the umbrella.

This all may not be of vital interest to the world at large, but it is of vital interest to me.

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