Monday, May 18, 2009

What Temptation Looks Like from Here

With everyone posting pictures of their pretty Spring flowers, I couldn't resist some pictures of tropical fruit. As mangoes ripen, they glow red from the green trees. I've been thinking of the Adam and Eve story, and the fact that Milton chose apples as the fruit of temptation. But mangoes--ah, mangoes! Those would be a better choice. Surely the Garden of Eden was tropical--or perhaps it was a truly magical place where fruit and vegetables from every agricultural zone grew side by side.

I included the picture below, even though it's a bit of a disappointment. I couldn't capture the color of the one ripe mango. But it does show all of you non-tropical people how mangoes grow. Ten years ago, we moved down here, and I was shocked at how much of the foliage was utterly unfamiliar. I saw these almost sinister ropes hanging down from trees. It was only later that I said, "We've got mangoes growing all around us!" And mangoes fresh off the tree are so different from any mangoes I had while living up north; those mangoes were stringy and odd. Kurt Vonnegut once said the mangoes taste like peaches soaked in kerosene, but he should have had one of my friend Andrea's mangoes--those would have changed his mind!

You'll also notice a Pooh Bear hanging from the tree. He's been there for several weeks. I don't know why. This tree isn't mine. It's my neighbor's. But the mangoes hang so temptingly above my fence. My mango tree, alas, has all of about 9 mangoes on it. It's never produced well. The birds and insects eat the buds.
So, perhaps these images will give you ideas for poems. Or perhaps they'll just make you happy to be in a land where you recognize the foliage. Or maybe you'll yearn for a tropical vacation--now is the time! The northern crowds have gone, and we had a terrible tourist season. You can probably pick up a good deal from our hurting industry.

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