October 4, 2009

Curses, foiled again

While I was in California I decided that we needed to plant a Sago palm in the yard at Casa Abeja. I have always admired them for their prehistoric quality in my brother Juan-in-a-Million’s yard. I looked them up on the internet and they grow on in mainland Mexico in the same climatic zone we are in here right opposite us on the Sea of Cortez. When my brother told me his daughter had a cute little tiny one in a group of potted plants, I figured I could fit that in my suitcase and sneak it into Mexico. So the two of us got in his car and zoomed around to every nursery near his house trying to find one. We probably spent about 3 hours looking. Orchard Supply Hardware had them in 1 gallon pots, and including the leaves they were about 2 feet tall and way too big for my bag. Each successive nursery had bigger and bigger trees until we were up to 20 gallons. The price went up exponentially too. That’s when I decided that I didn’t really need one after all. And then I remembered how the agricultural guy at the airport took Esperando’s corn husk nativity away from him last year because it was ‘organic’ matter, even though it came from Mexico so I pretty much really lost my enthusiasm.

When we were in Loreto a few days ago, we stopped at the nursery to see what they were selling. They seemed to have a lot more plants than they have had in the past and right before my very eyes were at least twenty 15-gallon Sago palms, all smiling up at me waving their fronds in an inviting way. I was so happy. We found several other great plants that we wanted to buy as well, but it was pretty hot so we decided we would drive by in the morning so the plants wouldn’t be cooking in the covered tail of the pickup. Alas we were foiled by mother nature as Tropical Disturbance Olaf trotted into town and inundated everything and flooded the streets. That nursery guy that had promised he would be open at 8 am wasn’t even open at 9 am when we trundled by. Got to hand it to these Mexicans for always being closed when they say they will be open, even in the middle of a tropical storm. I guess if I came from someplace where it never rained, I might be nervous when it starts to rain heavily, but I still think he should have been more excited about the big sale he was going to make to us.

In any event we still don’t have a Sago palm and just now Esperando read to me that they are seriously poisonous. To quote Wikipedia, “One disadvantage of its domestic use is that it is poisonous to animals and humans. One skin breaking scrape can lead to a hospital visit. Cycad Sago Palm is extremely poisonous to both humans and animals if ingested. Pets are at particular risk since they seem to find the plant very palatable.” So maybe there won’t be any Sago palm in my future after all since the dog is big fan of eating leaves.

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