OPEN THREAD

Mesquite

I noticed in R.Rooster's essay (with the wonderful pictures) of a few days ago, that he mentioned the Mesquite tree. I know that in some places mesquite is considered invasive but in my area of TX, I think the opposite is true. Over the years I have seen a steady, relentless, elimination of the trees and plants of this countryside. We have eradicated most of our native plants and have replaced them with tightly packed neighborhoods, apartment complexes, strip malls, and highways. We have choked out the native habitats. The wide-open spaces and vistas that were prevalent here, are rapidly disappearing.

We know this kind of growth damages the ecosystem. It makes what is left of the ecosystem much more vulnerable to the stressors of climate change. As we are full-on immersed in climate change, I have become more interested in what characteristics might contribute to the resilience of native plants since they help support other plants and animals. Planting natives wherever we can, may help slow the collapse of a whole variety of species. That's the reason for my interest in Mesquite, it's a tough tree. Not only can it make it through a serious drought, but I noticed it survived the recent unusually cold temperatures in February. It is also an important anchor plant in that it feeds and shelters substantial number of plants and animals..

Here's what our local Mesquite variety, aka honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) can do:

grow a deep strong taproot
it's a legume so it fixes nitrogen and enriches the soil
casts the kind of shade that allows grasses and flowers to survive under its crown
livestock like the shade and the quality of the grass beneath them.
is a good specimen for yards and, with pruning, looks very nice
bees make honey from its blossoms
provides food and shelter for many species of wildlife including dove, scissor-tailed flycatchers, chachalacas, other birds, and small mammals
supports native pollinator species
is a larval host for Reakirt's blue, ceraunus blue, and long-tailed skipper butterflies
produce seed pods in abundance that feed birds, mammals, deer, horses, cattle, goats, (and people)

This video shows some more benefits: (2+minutes)

Mesquite flour contains a high amount protein and carbohydrates, and can be used in recipes as a substitute for wheat flour.

The indigenous peoples of California and southwestern North America used parts of Prosopis glandulosa as a medicinal plant, food source, building and tools material, a black dye, cement for mending pottery, and fuel. It was also used as a medicinal gum to treat dysentery, sore throats, and open wounds. The Cahuilla ate the blossoms and pods, which were ground into meal for cake. Its dense and durable wood is prized for making tools and arrow points, and for the unique flavor it lends to foods cooked over it. The deep taproots, often larger than the trunks, are dug up for firewood.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosopis_glandulosa

Harvesting mesquite pods for food: (3 min)

Mesquite is also used to make high-end and rustic furniture, posts and flooring. It is a beautiful wood.
Here an artist in southern Arizona works with mesquite: (3 min)

I hope in all those new neighborhoods that are springing up everywhere, some people will plant the honey mesquite and other native plants.

Image at top is a different variety but similar tree; Velvet mesquite, Prosopis veluntina, with spring foliage. Wikimedia Commons

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Lookout's picture

all I knew is it is used for bbq. Got a busy day lined up so just a quick drive by to say good morning.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout , Our temperature here today is supposed to reach 89, and for the next two days 95. Looks like our summer is here.
Have a good one.

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QMS's picture

The mesquite I remember from living in AZ were thorny bushes. Had no idea they grew so tall.
Also amazed such large boles are harvested for making furniture.

Some background on the name...

Miquiztli, meaning ‘death’, is the day in the Aztec calendar associated with the god Tecciztecatl. Tecciztecatl is the god of the moon, associated with transformation, and endings leading to new beginnings. Miquiztli is a day for reflection and reconsidering priorities. It is a bad day to ignore possibilities.

Your honey mesquite..

Prosopis-glandulosa.jpg

Thanks for the OT!

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14 users have voted.

@QMS , thanks for the background on the name, I love it. The guy in the first video said the Mesquite range is all the way up to Canada. I don't think that's correct but do know it has a range to where the Aztecs lived.

Thanks for the picture of the Miquztli, that's the one!

Here is an interesting article; Texas Baker Rekindles Interest In The Mysterious Mesquite Bean, https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2018/10/04/649311562/austin-baker-r...It's about a chef in Austin who, among other things uses mesquite to bake with and thinks that it; "... brings a subtle earthiness to loaves such as the dark-crusted Rouge de Bordeaux sourdough".
This chef, Gyawali, became interested in using mesquite in his recipes ;

Gyawali was drawn to that sweet bean, too. A neuroscientist-turned-baker who immigrated from Nepal to Chicago as a child, he moved to Austin seven years ago. He says that losing a sense of having a hometown early on taught him to "seek out what's unique about a place and how I can identify with that, and usually it's through food."

The first time he baked with it, mixing it with wheat flour, Gyawali says, "It really smelled like baking spices, almost like I'd made a spiced holiday bread." The people he worked with "went crazy for it."

Later, while developing his own business, Miche Bread, he decided to focus on heritage grains. And every time he bought mesquite flour, he wondered why Texas didn't produce its own. Finally in 2016, he won a grant from the Austin Food & Wine Alliance to purchase a hammer mill to grind mesquite pods. He began sourcing them from around the state last summer.

He operates the machine at Barton Springs Mill, outside Austin. Over the course of 30 minutes, as the crop roasts in the oven, the scent changes from beans to ginger snap cookies to a toasted bagel with coffee. The mill's owner, James A. Brown, says mesquite has a "sweet complexity that's very appealing and hard to tack down."

It's a fun article, it sounds like an interesting enterprise.

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QMS's picture

@randtntx

as the crop roasts in the oven, the scent changes from beans to ginger snap cookies to a toasted bagel with coffee

Yumm!

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@QMS , cool beans.
I enjoyed this; "It is a bad day to ignore possibilities."

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CS in AZ's picture

I too read RR’s comment about cutting down mesquite trees with some dismay, although overall of course I’m thrilled that he found that wonderful place to live!

But I LOVE mesquite trees, and as some of ours have in fact died of natural causes over the years I literally cried for them. The ones we have left I treasure. We would never cut down a healthy one. Where I live they are abundant though, and I’m so glad. Not many large beautiful trees can thrive on their own around here, but these sure do.

We have a never-ending supply of mesquite fire wood in the riparian mesquite grove right behind our house. We have a couple of handmade mesquite side tables that we inherited from my husband’s grandparents. I even have a small mesquite cutting board that a friend made for me. My best girlfriend is a master of mesquite-flour waffles and other baked yummies. My dogs love the mesquite beans that fall from our trees as endless free snacks. Our backyard is dominated by one very old, very large mesquite that provides incredible shade, a nice bird and lizard haven, and a much-needed feeling of lushness to our desert landscape. The mesquite is simply woven into everything around here, and I love them.

Thanks again for highlighting this amazing tree. Reading this was a great start to my day!

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@CS in AZ . I love this notion: "The mesquite is simply woven into everything around here". I think that sort of outlook towards the natural world in general, might be key. That is the sort of idea that is advanced by writers like Robin Wall Kimmerer and others who are writing and thinking about Indigenous wisdom and how we can incorporate that knowledge to make life better.

Somewhere in Kimmerer's book Braiding Sweetgrass is the line; "...the essential adventure of our time, [is] the shift from the Industrial Growth society to a life sustaining civilization".
I copied that line down when I read it and it rings true to me. This line expands on that idea; "One of our responsibilities as human people is to find ways to enter into reciprocity with the more-than-human world. We can do it through gratitude, through ceremony, through land stewardship, science, art, and in everyday acts of practical reverence".

You are so right about living in a harsh climate making the existence of plants like large trees a challenge. Your giant mesquite in your yard sounds wonderful as does the ready availability of mesquite for cooking. These "... handmade mesquite side tables that we inherited from my husband’s grandparents", sound like quite the treasure, I imagine they are beautiful.

Glad you stopped by, have a good one.

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CS in AZ's picture

@randtntx

I really hadn't taken the time to stop and fully appreciate my own feelings and connection to the mesquite, and the rest of the flora and fauna of the southwest or how deeply it is part of me, and me it I suppose since I have spent most of my life here and don't see myself going anywhere else if I can help it!

I'm going to try to upload a photo of my backyard tree. This is from a few years ago. Right now it is just starting to put out new leaves and turn green again as the weather warms up.

IMG_0029.jpeg

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@CS in AZ , thank you for the picture. A beautiful picture and a beautiful tree. I don't think I've ever seen a mesquite that symmetrical. It has an aura of calm. I see why you like it so much.

It is funny how, if you let it, you can regard the natural world with deep appreciation and feel a part of it. I have lived in some places that I initially did not like at all, but later came to appreciate certain aspects of those places immensely.

Thanks again for the picture...just awesome.

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Dawn's Meta's picture

@randtntx Robin Wall Kimmerer wrote a beautiful book, 'Gathering Moss' a series of essays about mosses. It is a lovely book. She sees forests in mosses. I watch our mosses now with the changing seasons, paying more attention and trying to leave them in place.

This is a wonderful thread. Thank you.

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A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

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@Dawn's Meta , much appreciated.
I have her book on mosses on my to-read list. I think she is a fine writer. There is an area of forest in Ontario that has a part of my heart, the mosses there are beautiful. You've nudged me to put that book higher on my reading list, I think I would really love the subject right about now.

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I was told my some of the locals in Llano, Texas that when the mesquite blooms spring is here and the cold weather is over. Seems to hold true at least for this part of the hill country. Another sign of spring is the return of the scissor tailed flycatcher. Have not seen any yet but do love to see and hear them.

Thanks for the story of the mesquite and I will be looking into this mill and the flour as well. Thanks for the OT.

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10 users have voted.

Life is what you make it, so make it something worthwhile.

This ain't no dress rehearsal!

@jakkalbessie , that the leafing out of the mesquite is a herald of spring.
Our spring though, lasted 2 weeks? We jump right into summer. Here it comes.
If you find anything more about the mill, let us know. It sounds interesting.

It seems all the birds in our yard are nesting, suddenly they seem scarce, as if they are very busy.
Thanks for stopping by jb. Take care and have a good one.

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enhydra lutris's picture

for featuring the mesquite which is still holding its own down Borrego way, where, of course, the Cahuilla made (and still make to some degree) great use of it. As of when we left that area on the 24th it was not yet blooming, but it is fantastic when it does.

QMS mentioned thorns, but what plant doesn't have them down (out?) there. The non cacti with thorns seem to be around every corner out in the washes, sweet acacia and wait-a-minit bush (cat's claw acacia) for example - two more legumes, btw. Wish I had the space to try planting a honey mesquite here and see if it would take, though I suspect it wouldn't.

Still running on the cool side here, too cool, for example, to plant much of anything. Bird activity at our feeders is way down, which is almost certainly due in part to the fact that a Cooper's Hawk has taken to hanging out in our neighbor's back yard, and sometimes ours too. That, of course, brings in the crows which, in turn, really pisses off our resident scrub jays.

Lots of yard work beyond planting and such, and other tasks as well, so off I go

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@enhydra lutris . I had to see what was going on down Borrego way (and where it was). I had no idea. If I'm correct it's Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. The town of Borrego Springs completely surrounded by the State Park. The only place in CA that is designated an International Dark Sky community. Very nice on both counts.

I know, what doesn't have thorns in the desert? So much so, that one of my field guides is organized on the basis of which plants have thorns and which do not. Looks like 50/50

Here we have a thornless cat-claw and I spotted one in the yard just the other day. It was displaying its round yellow flowers.

Sorry about all the bird arguments and disagreements going on in your yard. You'll have to tell them to pipe down. Wouldn't mind seeing your Cooper's Hawk though.

Our heat just arrived all at once, nothing gradual about it. I would prefer your lingering cool temps. Summer's arrival makes it time for us to plant the beans, right now.

Thanks for stopping by.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@randtntx

and belies the name.

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@enhydra lutris , there are two kinds of catclaw in the region here. One is Acacia greggii aka Texas mimosa, uno de gato, wait-a-whle. It has a thorny, impenetrable structure and supposedly makes a good hedge plant. The other is Acacia berlandieri aka guajillo, thornless catclaw. Though we call it "thornless catclaw" it does have thorns. They are smaller than A. greggii and not so vicious, so I guess they named it thornless? I don't know. This according to A Field Guide to Common South Texas Shrubs By Taylor, Rutledge, Herrera

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Progressives take over St. Louis

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will look quite different when the new session begins in two weeks.

Three of the four candidates who received the backing of an initiative called Flip The Board won their races Tuesday night, giving progressive-minded aldermen a working if fragile majority at City Hall.

Anne Schweitzer defeated Beth Murphy to represent the 13th Ward — Murphy was first sworn-in in 2014. In the 12th Ward, Bill Stephens narrowly beat Vicky Grass, who was sworn in in July to fill the remainder of Larry Arnowitz’s term. And in the 17th Ward, Tina Pihl beat Michelle Sherod for an open seat by just 19 votes.

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@gjohnsit ? Amazing and very good. Thanks for that update.

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RantingRooster's picture

You can come over and argue with the Rowdy Yates type character that is like the property foreman out here, I'm all for it. I'm new here, trying to fit in, so at this point, I'm just doing what I'm told, earn my way as it were.

What do you expect from a city boy? Smile

From the Texas Almanac: "THE UBIQUITOUS MESQUITE"

• Ranchers consider it a noxious weed, whose thorns injure cattle, horses and cowhands. Worst of all, its extensive root system uses more than its fair share of water, which otherwise could grow cattle-nourishing grasses.

• Botanists know mesquite (genus Prosopis), a member of the legume family, as a nitrogen-fixing plant. Rather than depleting the soil of nitrogen, as do most plants, mesquites enrich soil by returning nitrogen to it.

• Most gardeners wouldn’t consider using the misshapen mesquite in their landscapes.

• Cooks value mesquite chips and charcoal for the luscious flavor they impart to grilled meats and fish.

• Some artisans and furniture makers prize mesquite for its deep colors, rich patina and interesting irregularities.

Some people love them, some don't. Depends on your situation I reckon.

From WideOpenCountry.com

Telling a Texan to prune a mesquite tree is akin to advising someone to wash their garbage before they throw it out. Sure, some people really do it, but most people will just laugh at you. However, if you want to reenergize overgrazed soil by giving it an extra food source, mesquite trees are a good way to do that. Pruning them will make them look a tad better (hopefully)

Personally, when I had a BBQ grill, I used mesquite wood for cooking everything. Hamburgers, brisket, ribs, steak, hot dogs, chicken, heck, any and every meat! I do love the taste of mesquite cooked meats!

There is a "master plan" for this community, and I didn't have a say in it's development. But, out here, as I understand it, these mesquite trees/bushes are like the Oligarch of the trees, taking way more of their fair share of moisture out of the soil, killing off the grass for the cows, long horn bulls and horses. Nature's natural lawn mowers... Smile

Not to mention having the Vet come out and tend to wounded live stock is rather expensive.

But great info, truly! Thanks!

Drinks

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C99, my refuge from an insane world. #ForceTheVote

@RantingRooster . There is no criticism directed at you whatsoever. I was inspired by your pictures and the view of the open grassland...just beautiful. Of course you have to fit in, that is essential. I do not pretend to be an expert on managing rangeland and ranches. The people who do that successfully have way more experience and knowledge than I do. My criticism is aimed at developers, particularly in my area who bulldoze everything, scraping the land completely of all plants with heavy machinery. Then they don't replace the native species in the areas where it could be possible to replace.

Your essay was inspirational, I'm cheering for you as are others here. I'm also pretty sure that the owner of that place up there knows what she is doing. It sounds like she cares for the land and for the community. The two go hand in hand.

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RantingRooster's picture

@randtntx Writing is such a bitch, nothing ever seems to come across well Sad

Apologies if my retort was a bit sharp, I really have no clue about country living.

There is this kind of mound in front of my cabin that has a bunch of mesquite tree trunks left over from when they cut them down, and they are growing back, but the grass around the area is dying because, as Mr. Rowdy Yates explains it, the mesquite is soaking up all the available soil moisture. And the little growth that is growing back has big ass thorns on it and hurts the cows when they graze.

acow_0.jpg

Dag-gumbit, I can't get the pictures to work properly! They show on my laptop right side up, but when I upload them they turn! I try to turn them on my laptop, and boom, they freak out when I upload them. I have no clue! dang it!

But I certainly do love the taste of mesquite grilled meats! I'll see about finding a restaurant in the area that would want to buy them from us so they don't just get burned and not used to make food taste better.

Again, apologies if my reply was sharp, I'm scared as f-k because I've jumped off a cliff and have no clue. I've never lived in the country, especially Trump country. About the only place I've been that its "required" to wear a mask is in government buildings. Everywhere else the signs all say shit like, No mask needed to required.

Drinks

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C99, my refuge from an insane world. #ForceTheVote

@RantingRooster , No apologies necessary. I meant it when I say I'm cheering you on. The only thing I know about ranch management is that some people make a living at doing just that. I am not a ranch manager, just someone who is watching what is happening to my region undergoing massive amounts of "development". It's a whole different can of worms/issue between city sprawl and living in the country. You live in a place where people are trying to make things work and using the land to the best of their ability. Here, in my area, with all the development, it looks like nothing except damage.

I've lived in other western states besides TX and in more rural areas. Once I lived in a town that had a population of 7,000. It can be like walking on eggshells. I respect some of the people I met in those places. They are very independent and sometimes (with good reason) extremely critical of outsiders who want to tell them what is wrong with how they do things. It's very tough going to a place that has a different culture. My approach is to learn what I can from the people around me and do my best.

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RantingRooster's picture

@randtntx I think me moving to town makes us a population of 3,900. The sign says 3,899. Smile

I can understand your perspective of "development" looking more like damage. Out here we call our selves stewards of the land and are doing our best to live in harmony with it while having a "master plan" that will both generate income as well as keep the land as natural as possible.

This is a site plan the owner made on her cell phone. God love her, she only has a cell phone. The purple X's are current camp/trailer/cabin sites.
Siteplan.jpg
She's working towards listing camp sites on that site HipCamp.com, which is kind of like AirBnB for camp sites.

Drinks

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C99, my refuge from an insane world. #ForceTheVote

@RantingRooster , "the Oligarch of trees". Good way to say extremely greedy, selfish, entitled. I'm not sure it applies to our tree in question though. It may, I just don't know. I wonder if mesquite really does degrade the grassland by taking too much water. I have heard that before.
I agree about mesquite for bbq, we frequently use it and like it very much.

Some in my extended family run a small herd of cattle in the South-Central part of the state. I don't have any part in its management and would never offer my two cents regarding what to cut down or not. It's just not something I would do.

I do take issue with the Texas Almanac here; "Most gardeners wouldn’t consider using the misshapen mesquite in their landscapes". As we learn more about the value of native plants, more people are willing to try planting them. Every time I go to our plant nursery in town, there seems to be more native plants available and more interest in buying them. There are fistfuls of classes around town about planting natives...I think it's catching on.

Have a good one, wishing you the best of luck in your new place (and no slight intended Smile

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RantingRooster's picture

@randtntx I'm rather overwhelmed by all the new stuff I'm learning.

Heck, before I got out here, I didn't even know mesquite trees/bushes had thorns. Sad

I'm such a city boy. Smile

Drinks

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C99, my refuge from an insane world. #ForceTheVote

@RantingRooster . You made a dramatic change. Hang in there. I would imagine rural Texas is very tough. I don't have to depend on the land, but I know a little bit about it.

I'm not a native Texan so initially, when I moved here, I was not pleased with a whole host of things. Things like the prevalence of fire ants, rattle snakes, coral snakes, thorny plants, cactus everywhere, and most of all the heat. I came from cold-weather places and mountainous places that didn't have that stuff (except the rattle snakes).

Now we garden and walk/camp where there are all of those things and more. Our garden is full of fire ants etc. you just learn to avoid the worst of it and watch where you put your hands and feet. I'm always on the lookout for snakes, ground hornets, fire ants, etc.

I've encountered three rattlesnakes in my life so far. Two in Wyoming and one in New Mexico. Three coral snakes that I ran into here. My BIL says that coral snakes have to grab on and chew you in order to get enough venom into you to do damage. I've had my share of fire ant bites but nothing serious because I'm always on the watch.

I think for me the most difficult adjustment was the heat. Every summer is a challenge, but I'm OK with it now. I used to be pissed off all summer, but not anymore. (or not so much Smile

There are, however, some things that are amazingly fabulous in the TX countryside. I guess you will have to identify those things that spark joy for you. That is what will help you to like the place.
Again, hang in there RR. I'm wishing the best for you.

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RantingRooster's picture

@randtntx I'm a 5th generation Texan, yet grew up in the city. I hate bugs and boy are there lot's of bugs out here. The red wasps are what really concern me, I'm deathly allergic, so I lift the toilet seat in the outhouse before I go to check for bugs and wasps. YIKES!

I've gotten better, instead of running and screaming like a scared little boy, I can just slowly walk away and wait till the little red f-ker leaves...

We have cottonmouth snakes out here, so I'm always on the look out for those. People have been bitten out here before by snakes but they have snake bite kits and the doctor is not too far away. About 5-10 minutes.

Did I mention the bugs? OMG! Gigi, well she just stares at them. I'm like Girl, you're supposed to kill those things...

Drinks

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C99, my refuge from an insane world. #ForceTheVote

@RantingRooster , except that they are attracted to watery places. At the very least, rattle snakes generally give you a warning and you have a chance to move out of their way (if you're moving slowly, and calmly).
You might look into getting an epi pen to inject if you get stung by one of those wasps. It's a good thing to have on hand for people with that allergy. I don't know how much they cost anymore, but it is worth considering.

And yes, the bugs, how could I forget the bugs. I am the family bug magnet. All they do is set me outside and all the bugs come to me. I must be very tasty.

All those little pesties keep us on our toes, this ain't no stroll in the park.
Take care RR. Smile

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magiamma's picture

Thanks for this ot and the wonderful infomation on Mesquite.

prosopis glandulosa - honey mesquite

p430 Native American Ethnobotany

Other: Apache, Mescalero - hunting and fishing item resin used for fletching arrows

937 pp of info on native plants. Bit of a tome but pretty thorough.

So we are in general doing very well, but in the long run most will not survive the climatic changes.

My thought is that those few remaining tribal folks may well have the skills to do so. The thought of this brings me joy.

 zz Ethnobotany.jpg

Long live those who respect the Earth. Best day to all.

(Evolution does not favor self regulation.)

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

Hot Air Website, Twitter, Facebook

@magiamma . That is a hefty book, some 900 pages, but thorough is good. It looks like a really nice book. Thanks for the show and tell. I wouldn't mind bumping in to that book somewhere along the way.
I'm with you and hope those people, whoever they are, get to use their skills. The idea does bring joy.
Best to you as well magi, take care.

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Azazello's picture

I love mesquite trees too.
They're all over the place down here.
The smell of mesquite smoke always remind me of camping.
Love that Ramón Ayala tune too.
Thanks for the post.

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10 users have voted.

It didn't have to be this way.

@Azazello , glad you liked the tune. We used to have an Accordion Festival in San Antonio. It was a really good festival and had an eclectic variety of different styles of accordion music from classical to klezmer and all points in between. Of course we always had a good variety of conjunto represented. People would always get up and dance, the old folks as well. It was great.

Three cheers for mesquite "all over the place".
Nice memory of camping/mesquite smoke. Good stuff.
Thanks for stopping by, have a good one.

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dystopian's picture

Hi all,

Hope everyone is well! Ah the lovely Mesquite... Have many a flat tire I owe to them. The deal in Texas is that it is both native, and an invasive, like Juniper (called Cedar by
Texans). There are places where it is native and occurs naturally, and there are places it invaded and took over.

Generally ranchers are at war with it here. It is an incredibly valuable wildlife habitat, forage and shelter tree. Most agree here where it is invasive is due to two key factors: overgrazing, and fire suppresion. Before these two things happened it was only in its natural areas. One of the international conservation orgs considers it a top 20 pest worldwide as it has been introduced to India, Australia, Africa, etc.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesquite

The 'Mesquite Honey', a jellyish affair made from the beans I find delicious. When you can find it, Mesquite Honey made by bees from the flower pollen is also most excellent. As many have mentioned the wood is great for flavoring when grilling. And there are some real artisan Texans making beautiful furniture with it.

There are some 20 foot Mesquites right across from our gate, and nearby in Garner St. Pk. some push 25', old growth monster Mesquites. Foot plus diameter trunks. It is said some can get to get 50' tall, I presume in a wet spot in a wash. South Texas has full-blown old-growth Mesquite woodlands that are a pretty neat habitat.

Two birds off the top of my head I particularly associate with Mesquite, Lucy's Warbler and Bell's Vireo. When I hear them singing, I am probably in or can see a bunch of Mesquite.

great post/thread RiT

be well all,

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We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

@dystopian . That is a rich, chock-full comment. I'm going to have to re-read it later...dinner time here. Off the top of my head what you said about being invasive in some places but not others, being held in check by fires, and by preventing over-grazing, are all points my little field guide makes. I did see that bit about it being invasive in certain countries around the world. In some of those places it appears they introduced it purposefully! Might not be a good idea.

Will make a point to look for some mesquite honey. Sounds good.
There used to be a giant mesquite on the side of the road going from Leaky to Lost Maples. I don't know if it's still there. Might just have to go looking for it some time.

Thanks for the info! Have a good one.

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