Saturday, May 2, 2015

Wild Plums

If you have been reading this blog, you know what I am talking about. Here they are:


In a recent post I mentioned that I would return to a parcel of ranch land I had been exploring so that I could enjoy harvesting and eating the wild plums that grow there, and perhaps daydream about the future. When I visited a couple of weeks ago, the plums (ciruelas) were hard and green. Right now they are maturing, juicy and delicious. The timing of my visit yesterday was just right.

In fact I arrived none too soon because birds have been having an easy meal in this tree. The ground beneath was littered with pits and yellow, orange and green bits of partially-eaten plums. A large flock of Yucatan Jays (che'les) was busily enjoying the feast. The positive side is that it seems the birds favor the higher branches, which means the low-hanging fruit is left for us.

Along with the jays, we saw a pair of Squirrel Cuckoos, orioles (yiuya), Kiskadee (xtakay), Blue Crowned Motmots (Toh), quail (codorniz in Spanish or bechito in Maya), plus the usual assortment of cardinals, doves, grackles, mockingbirds, hummingbirds and small songbirds. We also heard but did not see an owl and a couple of other species we could not identify.

After savoring some plums and stashing more in pockets for the trail, we took another hike, in a section different from the one we walked the last visit. Ramiro, the man doing some clearing of impassable trails, has been busy in the meantime. Passage alongside one of the overgrown pastures is now open (photo below), and the area around the corral and well is now clear.  It was much easier this visit to walk and assess the condition of things.


When I ate the plums this morning, they seemed especially delicious, and not just because they are now in their prime. As I mentioned in the prior post, I have been very interested in this place for a long time. So without too much more thought, soon after taking that walk here and tasting the sour, unripe fruit a couple of weeks back, I signed a contract to buy and made a down payment on this property. We have a couple of legal hoops to jump through yet, but if all goes smoothly, soon I will be the proprietor here. This project will involve a lot of work and a significant shift in lifestyle, but I am looking forward to the change.





Text and images copyright 2015 by Marc Olson


15 comments:

  1. This looks like a really interesting property. Are you still working on the one in town? That looked like a good one too and I've been wondering how that project is going.
    Jenny A.

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    1. Yes, Jenny, I am working slowly on the one in town but have not made huge progress. Right now this is more interesting to me, and the other one is habitable as-is, so I am putting the town house on the back burner for awhile.

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  2. I see a tractor and brush hog in your future. I've been opening up old access roads at my folk's place this past week. I've taken to wearing a hardhat and safety glasses when brush hogging, my reactions are not what they were. Congratulations on getting some ground.

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    1. Actually, Norm, my projects here will be fairly small scale, and it's possible to hire local workers to do clearing and that sort of thing at a fairly reasonable cost. And this provides work to people in the nearby pueblo where there are not a lot of jobs. LIkely most of my work will be done little by little, and by hand. I suspect that my largest investment in equipment in the near future may be a chainsaw and an industrial-grade weed whacker.

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  3. I have a few of the new lithium powered hand tools. I bought a 20 volt hedge trimmer that has more storage than I do. I've yet to run the battery down before I was ready to give up. I have a 200 foot long arborvitae hedge along my front yard, it will do one side in one battery. It is light, powerful and cordless. I bought the same package in a weed whip and chainsaw. The weed whip is ok, not outstanding and the chainsaw is almost worthless.

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  4. Good luck on the purchase. It looks to me like a perfect place for a man who also has his own “private beach.” You’re fortunate to be able to migrate between your city dwelling and the newer space—so that you can decide which suits you best. Granted, there are no perfect fits out there, but…

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  5. Congratulations on your purchase. You are becoming quite the real estate magnate. LOL Hope you enjoy working on your new "rancho", but don't get so busy that you don't have time to post on your blog from time to time.

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  6. What a wonderful looking place, your own nature preserve. I'm interested to see what kind of reptiles you see.

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  7. I agree. We enjoy your activities. Keep us involved.

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  8. Congrats, Marc! Wish I woulda known you were looking for a chainsaw. I coulda provided a goodun' last week. I'll be in town later this month, or early next to attend to details. We should talk.

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  9. Reading your blog makes clear how much you love and respect your little corner of the world. It is a real talent and I love hearing about these little things: a frog or a plum or the way people lived in a place 50 years ago. Thank you for sharing all these things with us.

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  10. Congratulations on your new place. You are a very patient person! You've been looking for a place in the country for a long time.
    It is so strange to me to see the plums bearing fruit on bare branches. So unlike the northern variety. Do they taste like our winter-hardy plums?

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  11. I've never gotten used to eating this type of plum but can imagine that knowing they were on a piece of land for which I was now custodian might change my enjoyment of them. I enjoy your writing. Thank you. P.s. Codorniz is quail and faisán is pheasant.

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    1. Thanks for pointing out my mistake, Kathe. I fixed it.

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  12. I came across your blog by accident but your story is truly fascinating!
    I would like to investigate the prospects of moving into a nicer, cooler area of Mexico also, but how do I start to find land for sale like you did without a realtor being involved?

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