Balls, buds, and barbs / Bolas y botones

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

THE COSTA DEL SOL GIVES good sky. I could take pictures all day. I’ve started with sky photos from yesterday. After those are shots of people playing beach volleyball. There were some excellent players and I enjoyed watching. They all seemed to be having a great time. No pouting at missed shots. No macho posturing. No finger-pointing. Lots of effort and even more laughter.

After the balls and before today’s sky photo are some of our budding plants in the front hall. The aloe vera is obviously very happy. It will be some time before we see flowers, but there are bud stems starting everywhere I look. I’ve got a bit more cleaning up to do but first I have to pull out the gardening gloves and an old, sturdy, long-sleeve shirt.

The cylindrical African spear (sansevieria cylindrica) has more than a dozen flower stems. This is the time of year I wish the plant were inside the apartment. The fragrance at night is exquisite. I’ll try to capture it for you one evening when the flowers open. Scratch and Sniff. The final photo is how my arm looks this afternoon, a day after I watered the aloe vera.


LA COSTA DEL SOL DA buen cielo. Podría tomar fotografías todo el día. Empecé con las fotos del cielo de ayer. Después de eso, hay fotos de personas jugando voleibol de playa. Había algunos jugadores excelentes y disfruté viendo. Todos parecían estar pasando un buen rato. No hacer pucheros ante los tiros fallidos Sin posturas machistas. Sin señalar con el dedo. Mucho esfuerzo y más risas.

Después de las bolas y antes de la foto del cielo de hoy están algunas de nuestras plantas en ciernes en el vestíbulo principal. El aloe vera es obviamente muy feliz. Pasará algún tiempo antes de que veamos flores, pero hay brotes que comienzan en todas partes donde miro. Tengo que limpiar un poco más, pero primero tengo que sacar los guantes de jardinería y una camisa vieja y resistente de manga larga.

La lanza africana cilíndrica (sansevieria cylindrica) tiene más de una docena de tallos florales. Esta es la época del año en la que desearía que la planta estuviera dentro del apartamento. La fragancia de noche es exquisita. Intentaré capturarlo una noche cuando se abran las flores. Raspe y huela. La foto final es cómo se ve mi brazo esta tarde, un día después de regar el aloe vera.

The boy in the sand had an impressive serve.
El chico de la arena hizo un saque impresionante.
African spear 6 years ago…
Lanza africana hace 6 años…
And now (pigs for reference).
Y ahora. (cerdos como referencia).

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

30 thoughts on “Balls, buds, and barbs / Bolas y botones”

  1. The attack of the killer succulent. It is snowing here again this morning, the beach looks so inviting.

    1. David:
      I find myself surrounded by killer plants. What was I thinking? (But if it’s toxic to cats, it doesn’t enter!) Raining here and the beach still looks inviting.

  2. Ouch! You need some friendlier houseplants! They’re looking good, though, and I’m sure it will be fun to see (and smell) them bloom.

    1. Steve:
      Funny, most of our house plants are Mitchell Unfriendly. And Isabel. Every week we hear her yelps from the terrace as she backs into one cactus or another … or one particular one jumps out and snags her as she walks by.

  3. Ouch is right! Good thing you can break off a branch of the aloe and help heal the damage it caused. Love the photo of the tiny bud in the midst of the aloe plant spikes. Moody skies are great, too.

    1. Mary:
      Except that I’ve been thinning and cleaning up the aloes, so don’t have as many spears I mind sparing.

  4. I wonder if the scent of the sansevieria would withstand cutting the stalk and bringing it inside? Just a thought. And – ouch!

    The volley ball players seem to be having a grand time. That’s the most people you have had in a single photo in a long time . . . .

    1. Wilma:
      The sansevieria blossoms won’t survive being lopped off. The wither and die very quickly. So, I’ll just go out in the hall every evening and enjoy them. There were a lot more people out and about yesterday. I tend to avoid the beach and paseo on weekends. It’s definitely not crowded but still more people than I like to be among. I was surprised that not one of those 8 volley players wore a mask.

  5. The aloe vera cracks me up. A friend of mine has it also. It seems he just gets pricked or scratched by it, only to use it, to heal the said pricks and scratches. And then it starts all over again. Probably the reason I only have cut flowers in the house. I can’t keep green plants to save me.

    I got another 6″ over night. Looks like Naria outside.

    1. Mistress Borghese:
      It’s a very useful defense against itself. We only got about an inch overnight (rain).

  6. Love dramatic skies!
    Ouchy! Prickly little buggers!
    The African Spear is an interesting specimen……..can one divide it up if need be?

    1. Jim:
      The African spear is really easy to divide. All you have to do is carefully remove a stem or cluster with it’s roots and stick it in soil.

    1. Bob:
      SG bought me those piggies on a business trip to someplace or another (maybe San Francisco when we lived in Connecticut?). We had a pig theme going in our kitchen at the time, which spread to the entire house. It all started with a big, antique metal pig that had hung outside a butcher shop. Isabel gets attacked on the terrace every week. We can’t help laughing at her yelps when she backs into something.

    1. Carole:
      Will hear about the snow from Chuck tomorrow. Rained all night here and still raining. But I’m still looking at the beach and sky. We’re doing fine. Hope everyone in your family is as well. Looking forward to better days.

    1. Debra:
      We’ve got some very vicious cacti on the terrace. The aloe vera is soothing… unless provoked.

  7. You need nicer plants. Those are determined to hurt you. I think you said Chuck’s birthday was Feb. 5. If that’s correct, my card will arrive late because I mailed it on the 4th, but I didn’t think he’d mind. I found a really cute one–has a drawing of three ice cream cones on the front and at the top of each a different colored pom-pom.


    1. Janie:
      Chuck will love getting late birthday cards — even if he might not tell me. He’ll laugh at the pom-poms. The succulents and cacti are the easiest to maintain on our terrace. My left is a risk.

    1. Walt the Fourth:
      I haven’t hurt myself on the African spear for a while. When it was still small enought to sit on a dresser, I would regularly get stabbed in the face. When one piercing just missed my eye, I moved it to the living room. Finally, Audrey II had to dragged into the hall.

    1. Urspo:
      And some people are more sensitive than others. But they’s such great interesting and surprising plants.

  8. We have a hibiscus from the 80’s still blooming every year + a 20 year old begonia slipped from a friend who passed away at that time 2002. I see her every time I come in the room. Also a 25 year old begonia I nipped a leaf and stem from a friend to discover the plant likes us. These plants love our cool air ++ .Oh yah a crown of thorns 25++ years which leaves scratches on us too. Phew!!

    1. Ron:
      Having left the US for Spain, we have none of those plants from our past. When we moved from Connecticut to California, we had to get a Board of Health Certificate for each plant we took into the state. I had a huge snake plant, part of a planter my father gave my mother the day I was born. I was one little leaf in that planter, but was huge and bloomed every year starting when I was around 25. That was the only plant we took with us. We have one plant from our first year in Sevilla. So, 9-1/2 years old!

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