Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Staring into trees

When the birds in the trees see my camera and fly away, there's always still a tree to look at. In Mazatlan, the coconut and date palms, the banana trees, the mangos and mameys were old friends, but there were so many more, new to me, out in plain sight lining and sometimes invading the streets.

Coconut palm, with coconuts ready for the picking.

Green dates on a baby date palm, barely 6 feet tall.

Sidewalk tree.

Another coconut palm, in a vacant lot.

I stopped at many vacant lots, hoping to see birds, occasionally chasing a butterfly, but I had to limit myself to skirting around the streetside edges; usually the vegetation was too dense to penetrate. And usually towering overhead. This one was typical. The vine, I think, is a Monstera variety, and the tree at lower right is probably a banana tree.


I have Googled and browsed for hours; I can't identify these long seed pods.

The trees I found that almost, but not quite, matched these had similar pods and different leaves and leaf growth patterns. Others had knobby or ridged pods; these were smooth on all the trees I examined. The leaves are individual, oval-shaped, opposite, at the end of a forked terminal branch.

Small citrus, probably kumquats.

I haven't been able to identify yesterday's tree, where the boat-billed flycatcher has her nest, either. Dense leaf cover, pale yellow, upright flowers.

Any help with identification of any of these is greatly appreciated.

In the green spaces, open grass and trees, not quite parks but more wide walkways between streets, fruit lies on the ground, split open, a fresh buffet for birds and small animals. I was surprised not to see many insects, apart from the butterflies. Maybe they're all nocturnal, or at least hiding from the heat of midday.

The mangos are still small and green in April; once they ripen and fall, they will add their perfume to the entire area.


  1. Anonymous9:18 am

    'I have Googled and browsed for hours; I can't identify these long seed pods.' The seed pods look a lot like those of the Northern Catalpa: Catalpa speciosa. (The shape and size of the leafs however, suggest otherwise. A photo of the bark of the tree trunk would perhaps help.) Yours faitfully, Han - Netherlands.


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