Close encounters

Durango desert

Durango desert

Unexplained phenomena by: Scott Corrales

There exist a number of “accursed sites” on the surface of our planet. Some of these locations are the sites of gravitational or atmospheric disturbances that still remain unexplained by twentieth century science. Such anomalous areas possess properties, which interfere sporadically with humans and their equipment.
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Mexico in your senses

(youtube video production: Willy Sousa)

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Monarch Butterflies: Top ten facts

By: Dr. Orley R. “Chip” Taylor
Director of Monarch Watch

Hundreds of millions of monarch butterflies migrate from eastern North America to Mexico each fall to overwinter in the high elevation oyamel fir forests of the Transvolcanic Range of central Mexico. Monarchs are unable to survive freezing temperatures and those breeding in temperate regions must escape to moderate climates to reproduce the next season.

Most of the monarchs joining the migration each fall are 3-4 generations removed from those that made the journey the previous year. Continue reading

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The amazing monarch butterflies

Monarch Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly (photo: Florida State Library)

Mexico Notebook
By Ron Mader

The country’s most visited protected area showcases a natural marvel and mark your calendar — butterfly season lasts from November to March.

Sanctuaries in the states of Mexico and Michoacan open their tourist services to the public from November to March. These protected areas include el Rosario, Chincua, Cerro Pelon in Donato Guerra, Herradura and La Mesa. The first two are in the state of Michoacán and the last three are located in the State of Mexico. Check ahead of time for reservations.
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The Ocean’s lacework

a nice sea fan

a nice sea fan (photo: Shelagh McNally)

By: Shelagh McNally

Sea Fans or gorgolina are the delicate, lace-like plants you see when snorkeling or diving the coral reefs. Though they look like small trees, sea fans are actually animals. There are thousands of different species of sea fans and most remain a mystery. Research into these animals has only just begun.

Because sea fans are not light dependent they can find their niches in sandy gullies, potholes, and the deeper regions of a reef. Alcoves, overhangs, and vertical surfaces provide ideal habitats for some species. And, while most gorgolina live in tropical reefs, sea fans have been found throughout the world’s oceans, including polar seas, from the low intertidal zone to near the bottom of the deepest trenches. Continue reading

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Popocatepetl Volcano as seen from Mexico City


Popocatepetl Volcano view from Mexico City (photo: Etcétera digital)

Etcétera Revista digital

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How not to kill your papaya tree

Papaya tree

Papaya tree

From Tropica Mango Rare & Exotic Fruit Nursery:

There are two types of papayas, Hawaiian and Mexican. The Hawaiian varieties are the papayas commonly found in supermarkets. These pear-shaped fruit generally weigh about 1 pound and have yellow skin when ripe. The flesh is bright orange or pinkish, depending on variety, with small black seeds clustered in the center. Hawaiian papayas are easier to harvest because the plants seldom grow taller than 8 feet. Mexican papayas are much larger the the Hawaiian types and may weigh up to 10 pounds and be more than 15 inches long. The flesh may be yellow, orange or pink. The flavor is less intense than that the Hawaiian papaya but still is delicious and extremely enjoyable. They are slightly easier to grow than Hawaiian papayas. A properly ripened papaya is juicy, sweetish and somewhat like a cantaloupe in flavor, although musky in some types. The fruit (and leaves) contain papain which helps digestion and is used to tenderize meat. The edible seeds have a spicy flavor somewhat reminiscent of black pepper. Continue reading

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Fruits in Mexico

Fruits anyone

photo: Dona Day

By Justin Henderson in Cuponismo:

Mexican Fruit
Life in Mexico wouldn’t be the same without fruit.  Mexican fruit is so abundant, and so tasty it’s not surprising that it has embedded its way into the very culture of the country.

The US has long been importing fruit from Mexico, Hawaii and Costa Rica and every other tropical spot, so the mangoes and papayas sold everywhere in Mexico are almost as familiar to us as apples and oranges. But mercados, fruit and vegetable trucks, and fruit stands are one thing. It’s another thing to have several huge old mango trees with hundreds of mangoes ripening on the branches in the vacant lot next door, reminding you with their very presence that you are living in the tropics, amigo. Continue reading

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Merida-Matronly Madame of the Yucatan

Merida Cathedral photo: Erik B Flom

Merida Cathedral photo: Erik B Flom

By Jeanine Lee Kitchel:

As a longtime resident of the Riviera Maya it’s easy to be lulled into thinking that Mexico is a mirror-image of its well-heeled neighbor to the north. Just take a look at Cancun’s elegant high-rise hotels, chain restaurants, and shopping malls. Blink your eyes and it’s easy to think you’re not in Mexico after all.

But a three-hour drive by superhighway due east of Cancun to the colonial city Merida shatters all illusion that any similarities exist between Cancun and what I call real Mexico.

Entering Merida’s sprawling metropolis, grand old houses painted in dusky tones of rouge, ochre, terra cotta, sit rigidly upright on narrow one-way streets that team with life. City parks dominated by spreading almendron trees are filled with locals chatting, sitting, working at selling sodas and snacks or shining shoes on the corner.
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Cenotes of the Yucatan


From Wikitravel:

Cenotes of the Yucatan is a route through the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. It follows a network of secondary roads through the interior of the peninsula which the Mexican government has dubbed La Ruta de los Cenotes (The Route of the Cenotes).

The underground river systems of the Yucatan flow beneath the entire peninsula. During the ice ages when the ocean levels were much lower than they are today, what was once a giant coral reef became exposed to the atmosphere and eventually became the Yucatan Peninsula. Massive cave systems were formed by gradual dissolving of the highly porous coral limestone. These caves are called “solution caves” because they were formed by the slightly acidic rainfall dissolving the alkaline limestone. Inside the caves the geological formations such as stalactites and stalagmites are a spectacular sight to see. Many of the caverns eventually collapsed and the sea levels rose partially or completely flooding the cave systems. Continue reading

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