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An Excerpt from Jim Conrad's
NATURALIST NEWSLETTER
of July 24. 2011
Issued from Mayan Beach Garden Inn 20 ks north of Mahahual
on the Yucatan Peninsula's eastern coast just north of the Belize Border,
Quintana Roo, MÉXICO

ENCHANTMENT OF PALMS

Enchantment is magical resonance between what's outside a person, and what's inside. As a teenager I was enchanted by a swampy woods near our family's farm in Kentucky. I sat on a log speechless as the forest's colors, odors, sounds, structure and processes meshed with and nourished similar but less developed features and impulses already within me. The forest shared its strength and beauty, some of which I still carry within me.

As it should be, enchantments are more frequent and more powerful for the young than the old. Still, anyone can be enchanted at any age. In fact, this week I experienced a modest one that even still has me glowing.

It was an enchantment with palm trees. That's odd, because I've been around palms most of my life, so why become enchanted now? Maybe I just needed the right catalyst. This week the catalyst was an inflorescence of palm flowers opening at eye level 15 feet up a Coconut Palm beside my second-story porch. It was dusk and the sun was setting behind me, warmly illuminating the palm. Below, you can see that very inflorescence:

Coconut Palm inflorescence

That picture doesn't convey the effect of the tree's rustling and clacking fronds quivering and twisting in the wind, doesn't show how the silhouetted fronds' surface-gleams shifted here and there as big petioles flexed and swayed, and narrow pinnae on different fronds overlapped one another, etching in my mind dynamic crosshatchings of light and shadow.

Downstairs, another palm inflorescence opened closer to the ground so I went there. Honeybees hustled up and down the flower cluster's branches seeking nectar in half-open blossoms, as shown below:

 Honeybee visiting flowers of Coconut Palm

Beneath the palms and inside their whispery rustles and woody crepitations, watching the bees, seeing and hearing so many palmy things, I found myself effervescing wood-toned feelings and thoughts, enchanted.

A gift: From my second-story perch expressive palm fronds frame all my views. Here's a picture of the microwave tower beaming this Newsletter on its first leg to you, from here to Mahahual 20kms to the south. Does the enchantment carry, even at this distance? Facebook Icon

tower framed by Coconut Palm fronds