Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Shift of Wind

When we returned yesterday from a fast trip to Morelia, I saw that the tarp that covers the Kingsford Barrel Charcoal Grill had blown off. We keep the grill under the protection of our front "porch", yet a shift of wind had removed it. Susan said it was the March winds come early.

Photo of paper mill air pollution.

Marzo es un mes de vientos fuertes e impulsivos. The neighbors' metal gates slam and clatter in the whims of the wind. If we're not careful to put the in door stops, our doors slam shut with an alarming bang. Almost all of our doors are wood, so they are quiter, but even if they were metal, I believe the gusts of wind could slam them.

A couple of years ago, we lay sleepless during siesta time, listening to the moans and screeches of the wind whistling through the vacant houses up the street.

This morning I awoke to a whiff of a different smell than our accustomed muted aromas of farm animals and the rare musky, funky odor of a skunk. It was the distinctive stink of the paper mill below the hill descending to the valley of Morelia. This was a sure sign that the prevailing winds had shifted fom west to east. Nature, playing ping-pong with the winds, had surmounted the hill and delivered us an unsolicited ream of
chemical pong.

There's a beautiful new factory, the "Fábrica de Jabón", on the Morelia-Pátzcuaro highway, in the final stages of construction. It is closer to us than the paper mill. It remains to be smelled whether it will waft sweet aromas or render the stink of rancid fats.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Green and Bear It

It's only the middle of February, yet Spring is awakening in Las Cuevas.

(The following is not a complaint, mind you, but a description of an event. May no one take a fence.)

Last week, our landlords brought over an air compressor and a spray gun. Their youngest son then proceeded to paint our scruffy, pointy fence. Over two days, he painted the fence, some of the concrete base, the brick columns, some patches of grass (which, dry as it's been, needed some refreshment of color).

He also managed to paint himself in the back flow of spray. We sincerely hope that his health isn't impaired.

We are grateful. I hardly notice the stray spray. I'd been hoping for some time that they'd paint the fence. This came as a gift.

I just got back from a late morning walk. I saw the rancheros/campesinos fertilizing the plowed milpas, one costal at a time. There's no shortage of organic fertilizer here. We are in Cow Country.

Nearby, a grassy field is already bright green. The plant growth may be zacate, here, a tangle of low lying, vinous stuff used to feed cattle. Innuendo and out the other.
Serious planting of corn is still ahead. The seed must be in the ground just barely ahead of the June rains.

It's the never ending cycle of life in el campo.