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Morning Star

September 28, 2009

Night blooming cereus just before dawn

These days, when it’s so incredibly hot, it’s really such a great feeling to be up before dawn when it’s very cool. This morning I rose at my regular work-time (5 a.m.) and went outside to take care of some watering. It was perfectly quiet and still and the air had a real chill, so unlike the day before when the temperature was over 100 degrees and stifling. I was enjoying the dark morning cool and my watering, when I came across an incredible starburst on my night-blooming cereus. This bloom was huge and had a fragrance that was incredible. I’d only seen the wilted remains of the cereus blossoms after the sun was up, so this was a real sight: waxy-white knife-shaped petals with a fireworks blast of yellow in the center — spectacular! I couldn’t wait for the light to rise behind the hills enough so that I could snap a picture of it. While I was taking the picture I noticed that if I stood back enough I could get into the frame that other scene-stealer in my garden, the papaya tree.


Two garden stars share the frame

Just over a month ago I had noticed (also while watering; seeing these changes is why I enjoy hand-watering so much) that the trunk of my papaya tree had sprouted fruit. It’s been steadily gaining size since and is now quite heavy and large. I’m not a papaya fan — it has a barf-y smell for me — but one of my sisters loves it, so when I saw the tree offered for sale at the Rubidoux swap meet I bought it. The vendor assured me it would be able to handle the climate here so I took him at his word. That was about 6 months ago and it’s grown over a foot since then. I love how as the tree grows the leaves wilt and drop off leaving the distinctive scarring on the trunk. Now, I can’t wait for the fruit to ripen so I can present it to my sister, Julie. I just hope she cuts it open at home!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Paul Velen permalink
    September 28, 2009 8:51 pm

    I love walking in the yard, especially in the morning when the pea gravel is wet with dew in places. The cereus was so unexpected. The flower, and the rest of the plant seem incongruous to me. It withers so quickly. It seems as though it was never connected to the cactus just placed there by a mischievous sprite. Thanks, Reuben, for holding a quiet memory.

  2. Nancy Rivera Brooks permalink
    September 29, 2009 1:10 am

    I’m with you on the papaya thing. Give me mango any day…

    • reubix1 permalink*
      September 29, 2009 2:12 am

      Amen, sistah! Thanks for looking at the blog and commenting, Nancy!

  3. Sheeba permalink
    September 30, 2009 1:30 am

    Enjoy the fruits of your labor;)

    So thats the secret of your garden…you actually water your plants & here I was thinking you were into magic/voodoo/witchcraft…..Ah!! you really had me:P


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