Monday, November 26, 2007

Blessed is the season which engages the
whole world in a conspiracy of love.
~Hamilton Wright Mabie


Poinsettias are now a holiday tradition, but did you
know they are actually native to Mexico and Central
America where they grow in the wooded areas and
hillsides? In the wild they grow much larger, often up
to 16 feet tall. An American diplomat brought the plant
to the US in the 1820's, but it took over 100 years for
it to be developed into a commercial plant.

I lived in Hawaii in 1985-86 and the house I shared with some friends from work had one of these 16' poinsettias growing in the yard. Across the street was a mango tree easily 3 times that. The bougainvilla was what caught my mom's eye when they were there for a visit.

At the bottom of the hillside were sugar cane fields that were burned off after harvest and it made an awful red ash that dusted the air and landed mainly on the louvered windows and screens which stayed open all year round. It turned the wash water a blood RED when they were being cleaned. When I first heard it was due to the cane dust, I thought they meant volcano. Not hurricane dust either (if there could be such a thing). Sugar cane was the culprit that time.

No comments: