Monday, May 30, 2011

Mixed Feelings

The old meat packing plant next door to my house had been long abandoned when I moved here in July 2007.  Perfect neighbors, I must say.  The property is huge. It practically surrounds my property and opens out on another street. The owner of the meat plant has been trying to sell the place. Unfortunately for the past years he's been storing tons of junk in there. Miles of bags of confetti, just weird stuff.  The big 'batfruit' tree had grown in and through one of the buildings on the property. 

For the animals, the property had been a haven. There were all kinds of trees and plants and fun things there. The cats loved adventuring to 'the other side' of our wall.  The giant iguanas that inhabit the property were fat and healthy.  The birds that visited the trees sang, performed mating calls, and chirped bird news to the neighborhood, and I'll miss them.

The owner is now serious about selling the meat plant.  He has guys over there cutting down all the trees and cleaning all the garbage out of the property.  I think he wisened up about showing a trashed place to perspective buyers .  People cannot have their own visions if there is too much crap around to have to see through. So, does anyone want to lend me a hundred fifty grand to buy that house and save the animals?  I didn't think so, but I thought I'd ask. 

The iguanas and the cats have been visibly shaken by the changes next door.  I throw fruits and vegetable material up on the roof above the pool for the iguanas, and they still come looking for it.  They spend more time on the roof and on my walls, uncomfortable about heading to the other side where those workers just might have a taste for iguana.

The change in cat behavior is astonishing.  My cats venture to the other side late in the day to see what damage has been done to their paradise.  The feral cats have moved in to our house, have been studying the behavior of our cats, and have actually been trying to behave like domestic cats.  Gemelo, the ghost of Buster I saw in the window four years ago while Buster was MIA, now lets me pet him and brush him.  He responds pretty well to 'NO'. I think Gemelo is getting old and just wants some peace at the end of his life. I've seen this cat behavior once before.  Little Weasel just stays out of the way and keeps real quiet, as if no one will notice he's moved in full time.  Buster is also spending his days at the house, which is a wonderful thing.  Finally he is himself again, and I find him exploring more and more of this big old house. 

The guys next door were told to cut down all the trees.  This is where my mixed feelings really come to play.  I agree with cleaning up the property. I also agree some trees are better than others.  That batfruit tree made a big mess in our patio all the time. If it wasn't batfruit all over the ground, it was batshit all over the property, and when it lost its leaves it sent them all down to our patio. As trees go, it was just one mess after another with that bugger.  As far as yard trash goes, I accept it as part of the deal in having such great shade trees.  Our mamey tree is messy too, and dangerous when it's dropping mamey bombs.  But I have no intention of getting rid of it.

Some of those trees next door sent so many little leaves and flying seeds into the pool it nearly drove me crazy. I am happy to see the silver oak and the fuzzy seed tree go.  This change will definitely make it easier to keep our patio clean.  The plants in my new tacky little nursery, on the other hand, are suffering this week.  They took some dive bombed branches and their shade disappeared. We haven't had a drop of rain in months, just a few passing clouds, fingers crossed the meteorologists are right in predicting rain this week.  Today the plants on the western wall of the patio look like they've been through a hurricane and need some serious attention.

Photo of SW corner of patio taken April 8, 2011.

Photo of same corner taken 27 May, 2011. No more shade :{

Center shot before.

Center shot after.

The NW corner before.

NW corner after. No mo' shade  :(

During. This is the 'hurricane' that damaged the plants. Dive bombed by giant tree branches.

Yeah, it was a mess. But the guys were real nice and cleaned it all up.

The removal of the neighbor trees lets much more sun into our entire patio.  That is good for the swimming pool and its users.  It's a little devastating to the 'shade' plants that no longer have any shade. The patio will be easier to maintain.  The cats stay closer to home.  There will be fewer mosquitos generating from that property when all the dead leaves and other jetsom are removed.

I like trees. One of the things that endeared me to Mérida is the magic of the insides of each of these large blocks.  There are big fruit trees and lots of green to help balance our CO2 and oxygen, since after all we live in a dusty oven.  It makes me sad to see that tradition go by the wayside in favor of more concrete.  I hope that's not what happens next door.

I'm glad they cleaned the property up, and I'm sad they cut down ALL the trees.  Life goes on and we adapt. Sometimes we just end up with mixed feelings.


Islagringo said...

Astonishing. I bet I am going to be shocked when I return!

Anonymous said...

Living in a glade of trees is so natural. Yes, they can be messy, but the shade is so comforting. Maybe some of those stumps will sprout and return. (Only the good ones!)