The country above the Upper Falls
Concepción de Buenas Aires, a picturesque little ranching town founded in 1869 on lands donated by the owner of Hacienda Toluquilla.
Yellow Trumpet bush, because the little flowers look like golden trumpets. I consulted with my flower expert Ron Parsons who publishes a website called Wildflowers and Plants of Central Mexico. Ron wasn't real sure on this one because I didn't take a closeup shot, but this is his educated guess. The plants flower in September and October and cover big swatches of the mountainside with yellow. The color gives the illusion of yellowing autumn leaves, but is actually a flowering rather than a dying process. One thing I really love about where I live in Mexico is that there is something blooming during every season. I live my life surrounded by brilliant natural colors.
nopal, however. Since archaic times, this has been one of the most useful plants in Mexico. The flat paddle-like leaves can be eaten, after the thorns are removed, of course. They can be grilled, boiled, sauteed, or just eaten raw. Nopal is not only tasty, but extremely nutritious and healthful, with a very positive effect on cholesterol and on diabetes. In addition, a fruit called a tuna grows on the tips of the paddles. It is sweet and juicy and is about the size of an elongated golf ball. The beauty of nopal as a food source is that it is plentiful and available to anyone. There are 114 known species of nopal in Mexico.
The trail to the east plateau
genus Astereae was once part of a larger genus with as many as 600 species., but in the 1990s Astereae was split off as its own genus. It now contains only 180 species, still a respectable number. Astereae are the North American version of Asters. Like Lluvia de Oro, these flowers flourish during our fall season.
The great vistas from the east plateau
Tapalpa Plateau. The long white object you see in the center is plastic sheeting used for green houses. (Photo by Chuck Boyd)
climbed Cerro Garcia.