Monday, October 18, 2010

Glorious Wildflowers

Fall is the season for wildflowers in Mexico.  Although there are flowers here all year round, the roadways are covered with more of the wildflowers, very similar those we see in Maine, during late September and October. Chuy and I take walks every morning.  We walk about two miles down the main road through Riberas and down by the lake and the way into the town of Chapala.  I enjoy seeing the wild, lush vegetation, including wildflowers, as we walk. Chuy's too busy looking for poops to smell and people to greet.  The other day we saw this beautiful blue flower growing out of a pile of gravel.

We even have wildflowers growing up over the back wall of our garden from the empty lot on the other side.
Here are some photos of the area where I walk with Chuy.  We are fortunate here to have a bicycle path, or ciclopista which goes next to the busy main road or carretera. You can see in these photos the lush greenery which grows in the undeveloped land between Riberas and Chapala.  These plants will begin to turn brown as we get into winter, because now that the rainy season has ended, we will have no significant rain until June.  I've also included a few photos of the park next to the lake we visit on our walk. Note the egret.    (Remember, you can click on any photos on the blog to make them bigger so you can see more detail.)

Things are pretty quiet here, news-wise.  There is a bit of a controversy in Guadalajara concerning gay rights.  Surprisingly, Mexico, although it is overwhelmingly Catholic, has a rather strong gay community, and Mexico City has passes a law allowing gay marriage.  There is an annual gay pride parade in Guadalajara, and a thriving gay community here at Lake Chapala.  All this is in spite of the fact that our state of Jalisco is one of the most traditionally Mexican and politically conservative areas of Mexico.  The Governor of Jalisco last week engendered a controversy when he said that the idea of gay marriage "makes me nauseous."  Over 300 people, as a result, filed complaints with the Jalisco Human Rights Commission. He also created a controversy a few weeks ago when he refused to disperse the money which the federal government allocated to the University of Guadalajara, instead giving it to support Church activities.  This resulted in several days of protest marches by thousands in Guadalajara.  The Mexicans have a long traditions of political protest marches.  We often see them going on in Guadalajara in the colonial district, but we often can't figure out exactly what they are protesting about!

A friend of mine from the Ajijic Writers' group, Mel Goldberg, has been organizing local readings in a coffee house in Ajijic on Sunday afternoons.   Although it's a small space, and none of us sold any books, it was a fun opportunity to listen to fellow writers and enjoy a lazy afternoon with coffee and muffins.   Here is a photo of Mel reading his poems in both Spanish and English, and one of me with my writer-friend, Jim Rambo.

We are enjoying pleasantly cool weather in the mornings and evenings and pleasant weather about 80 degrees during the day.  We now have the predictability of knowing it is simply not going to rain.  I took a walk down by the lakeside in Ajijic and was able to capture some photos of the new malecon and some evidence of the high lake level at the end of the rains.

Did you know that according to the National Butterfly Association, there are over 2000 species of butterflies in Mexico, compared to just 575 species in the continental United States?  I often see very unusual colors and patterned butterflies here; each seems unique.  On my walk the other day I found a dead butterfly, or mariposa.  I took it home and photographed it from both sides.  I include large photos of it here so you can see the interesting pattern.

And finally, here's another butterfly Pixie found yesterday.  Another beautiful specimen.

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