This was a very common sight in the countryside and a darn smart way to reinforce a fence. The euphorbia along this fence were small but I saw some nearly as tall as the tops of those fence poles.
While walking through the countryside I found lots of little pieces of euphorbia just laying around on the ground here and there. It was hard to resist the urge to stick one in my bag and take it home with me. I didn’t though — I feel a deep sense of guilt going through customs without breaking the law. If I were to actually do something wrong my sweaty, guilty face would surely find me in a back room undergoing a cavity search.
It’s so hot and humid in Cuba they’ve got airy shade “houses” to protect orchids and other tropicals from the intense sun while the rest of us must resort to expensive greenhouses in order to gather as much light and humidity as possible.
I took this photo at Jardin Gran Piedre, a botanical garden located up in the Sierra Maestra mountains on the site of an old coffee plantation. [You can read about our harried trip up to the garden here.] The plantation was once owned by the French and operated on the forced labor of Haitian slaves. The place operates as a tourist site and commercial Bird of Paradise flower grow-op but the bones of the old plantation still remains. The wall in this photo that now houses orchids and bromeliads probably used to be the sides of slave quarters. Opposite to this wall and not seen in the photo were intact slave houses now functioning as storage sheds for gardening tools and equipment.
Photo by Davin Risk
Sigh. This view of my roof garden from the door feels a million miles away today.
Remember summer? Yeah, me neither. If not for photographic evidence I would have to assume these so-called memories are in fact only beautiful delusions. I know many of you in the Southern Hemisphere are in the midst of it so you will have to excuse my mid-winter pity party. Over the last few days the temperature has plummeted to an unbearable, and therefore unacceptable bone-chilling cold. Unbearable I tell you!! I held out for two full days hunkering down indoors without stepping foot outside until today when I had no choice but to suck it up, put on as many layers as possible and face it. Even worse, our Taste of Summer life-sustaining preserves are rapidly depleting: the red pepper katsup is no more (good-bye delicious sauce!) and I just opened the final jar of Blackened Salsa Ranchera.
Not to be dramatic, but people are dying over here!
See you in 5 months July, wherein you can expect to find me complaining about the heat.
I brought this little succulent home with me just the other day, another impulse plant purchase in a long line of plants that simply could not be left at the store.
I think it is a Haworthia cooperi but I must warn you that I am not 100% certain. There are just too many of these darn things with subtle variations that I am not sophisticated enough to distinguish. The aspect of this plant I like most are the amazingly translucent parts of its fleshy leaves. These clear-ish areas are commonly referred to as “windows.” You can see through them almost as if you are peering inside the plant. When the sun hits these windows the effect is beautiful, elegant, and a little bit creepy.
The deep orange background in this photo is the Windowsill Cozy I crocheted for my windowsill last winter.
Now that 2007 has come to a close I wanted to update you on this year’s Warm Winter Wear Drive. This year we donated 16 hats, 14 scarves, and 6 pairs of mittens to The Redwood Shelter for Abused Women.
I want to thank everyone who donated this year: Renee, AuntieM, Nikic, Karen, Deborah, Gnomenclature, Jen, Bonnie, and Jen A. (Please comment here if I missed you! I tried to save the mail tag from each package but this list seems incomplete.) Once again I was impressed by the amount of love and work that went into the wearables you made. The complexity of the work, from complicated intarsia to reversible hats and double-thick mittens really blew my mind. It was exciting to open each package to discover each amazing piece of wearable art inside. I made sure to wrap everything up with ribbons and tags before boxing it up and taking it over to the shelter.
I know it’s a year late but here is last year’s thank you note from The Redwood: