Sunday, June 5, 2011

Agave envy!

There are a number of species of Agave or Century plants, i.e. Aloe and Maguey (think tequila).  The name "century plant" refers to the long time the plant takes to flower. The number of years before flowering occurs depends on the vigor of the individual plant, the richness of the soil and the climate; during these years the plant is storing in its fleshy leaves the nourishment required for the effort of flowering.
....and it's still growing!

This explains why friends Don and Joan were so surprised when, after years of dormancy, this spiny succulent started growing a stalk at the rate of inches per day.  We recently visited them in Ione in the Sierra Nevada foothills or Gold Country as it is known.  They have 5 beautiful acres providing us with parking and glorious views, visits by their flock of wild turkeys and the 30 year old horse who resides in the pasture behind us.
Can't beat this!

 We also have an ulterior motive; putting the finishing touches on our flatscreen TV installation which was started in January!  Don is a former cabinet-maker by profession and has all the tools we need.
We're calling it "done"!

We managed some sight-seeing of the local Amador and Calaveras County towns of Jackson, Sutter Creek and Mokelumne Hill in between the downpours and hailstorms. We also shared some really good meals.
National Hotel in Jackson under renovation

Mokelumne River running wild and rapid!

Local mine tower...this is Gold Country

 My only complaint, and it's a big one, is that this entire area is a Verizon "dead zone"; no phone or internet.  I finally pulled out the wifi antenna we used in Mexico and...voila...a lone, unsecured signal appeared and I grabbed it out of cyberspace, thus allowing me to keep up with my Scrabble games and Facebook friends!
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