Erythrina coralloides

Sun, colorful dust and el aguacate

Back home from a short trip to a mountainous region of Mexico, I was thinking about what images would be best to express the uniqueness of the area? Too many! In words it would be equally hard, even for a talented writer. So I decided to go with the technique of choosing the first four words that came into my mind, and these were: SUN, COLORS, DUST and EL AGUACATE. I can only show the colours here and maybe just a bit from the sun shining through them:

Winter in Mexico means dryness, acceptable warmth with cool nights and mornings. The deciduous trees have lost their leaves and are flowering (!), and everything else looks happy in the sun. In the mountain regions of the Michoacan State, the avocado trees (Persea americana) are thriving, and small orchards have expanded everywhere since my last visit there.

Persea americana – agacuate (Mexican), avocado (English) – is native to Central Mexico, from where it was introduced in other parts of the world. Cultivated in Mexico since a long time, the aguacate name comes from the word ‘āhuacatl’, meaning testicle in Nahuatl, an Aztec idiom, in relation to the fruit shape. It is an evergreen tree with coriaceous leaves, like many other species from the Lauraceae family. It flowers in the winter and in contrast with its big fruits, the numerous flowers are very small, yellowish and grouped in erect panicles. The flowering behaviour of the avocado is very unusual, known as “synchronous dichogamy” (if interested read more here). Only a few flowers will form fruits and on the same tree, there are fruits of different sizes, which will mature gradually. The Mexican variety of avocado has aromatic leaves too, and can be used as a condiment. In the image you can see a small orchard thriving underneath beautiful Pinus montezumae stands.