|This aloe grows in a pot in our back terrace.|
Then comes April and the same succulents now beg to be admired with their bright green growth replacing their dour, grayish winter plumage and most amazingly, flowers in all colors from shrill orange to more discreet shades of rose or lavender. Some are delicate and orchid-like, others tiny and barely visible, while a few grow in giant stalks ten or fifteen feet high that serve as natural alarm clocks to bees, signaling them to get going and make some honey.
Their flowering seasons are brief and not simultaneous, which has the added advantage of forcing me to walk around the ranch to check which cacti or succulent is putting on a show.
|This very common aloe grows all over the ranch.|
In fact, I've come to appreciate why Mexican nursery owners rather use made-up names like "Shrek's Ears" or "Helicopter Cactus". Both of them are some type of euphorbia, but who can remember which one?
|Small red flowers will form a crown atop this|
barrel cactus, which grows wild in the ranch.
|"Crown of Thorns" is an unfriendly-looking succulent|
that flowers most of the year.
|Mammillaria cactus, with tiny lavender flowers.|
|There are about 200 species of mammillarias. I don't|
know which one this is, though its purple flowers
stand out atop a white plant.