Sunday, March 30, 2008

Native/Exotic

I just couldn't let this 2thingsphotochallenge get away.

I've been mulling over this one all week and then it finally came to me. The Eucalyptus tree is the exotic. It is not a native tree to our country. It reigns from Australia, where there are more that 700 species, mostly native to this continent. Most of the Eucalyptus trees found in other regions of the world have been planted.

The picture of the Eucalyptus below was taken in my backyard. It stands approximately 100 feet tall. Just below this Eucalyptus are many live oaks, some blue and some scrub oak, which are native to this area.


Here are some pics of the scrub oak, but look, underneath the oak is another exotic it's an Agave, otherwise known as a "Century Plant".

There are some 125 species of this plant in Mexico while there are only 15 in the U.S. This species is an Agave atroviriens, it can weigh over two tons. This plant here is actually 10 ft. tall.



Here's a closer look. I should have placed my husband next to it's prickly leaves to give you some perspective. These stalks are well over 6 ft. long and approximately 15 ft. across. This particular genus will die once it flowers which is about 20 years, it's starting to flower.

click on photos to enlarge:


Now for the fun trivia:
The Agaves have been used as food source as far back as 1000 A.D.
Today, just across the border in the state of Jalisco, Mexico, in the town of Tequila, they are extracting Mescal to distill for Tequila from this Agave. By law it's the only Mescal that can be called Tequila.

Perhaps I should consider tapping into this sucker for my Margarita's this summer.

You do not want to be pricked by this cactus nor try to dismantle it without proper protection as it will cause numbing to your limbs, temporarily of course. Now you could suck the Mescal from the plant and your numbing problems will subside.

Have a lovely week! Thanks as always for your comments and visits!

My other blogspot: "The Way I See It"

9 comments:

Kim H. said...

Gorgeous photos..fun trivia..and talk of rita's...whats not to love?

Sweet Irene said...

I never new that about the agave and always wandered what it looked like exactly, having heard of it before. It makes it sound as though you live in quite an exotic place, so close to Mexico, but yet I have been there in my other life in the States. I guess I didn't appreciate that before, but judging by the photographs you live close to nature and aren't tucked away in suburbia like I was. Have you heard of Costa Mesa, which lies beside Newport Beach?

Great fun to see the Eucalyptus again and the scrubby oaks. Great memories. The Eucalyptus sucks all the water out of the ground.

John said...

It has been a long while, but Mescal is a happy drink - has a rush feeling to it. Yes, I have eaten the worm.

Ohh also that Vicks like smell of the eucalyptus leaves.

Good shots, in more way than one.

Susan Tuttle said...

Gorgeous photos - I adore the smell of the eucalyptus tree - it is intoxicating beyond measure!

Susan
xo

D.C. Confidential said...

Perfect Native/Exotic, A!

I miss the smell of eucalyptus in the fog on the road to Stinson Beach...

Sign. Now there's a smell I wish could be bottled.

D.C. Confidential said...

P.S. I'll post these now!

JMK

John said...

BTW, amazing landscape and environment - I can just see all the birds, especially if you provide running water - I have seen your feeders and nest boxes.

Natural splendor.

Marie claimns when I showed hwer Northern California I poihnted out 300 century p[lants - I remember a lot near Big Sur. Those amazing flower stalks like a mini skyline.

Bev said...

You have some backyard!

Lisa Sarsfield said...

Oh, I am so glad you didn't let this get away! I love the tree photo and know I no where John got his inspiration from. Beautiful! Intersting post too!