Friday, February 8, 2013

Brushland Peach: Duraznillo

Winters used to last longer in deep South Texas and it usually wasn’t until mid-March that the duraznillo (doo-raz-nee-oh) began blooming.  That was the time to mark the locations of each plant and start watching for the little peaches appearance.  It was always—and continues to be—a contest between potential consumers.  The birds always win out but other critters like deer and humans claim a few peaches if they are quick and observant.  But this year the duraznillo blossoms have arrived far too early.  Scientists worldwide have accurately predicted a chaotic climate where weather extremes strafe the planet, i.e. one area is bombarded by a massive winter storm while another endures extreme drought.  The Northeast is about to suffer a blizzard while parts of the Southwest go without rain.  I had a relative tell me recently that someone she knows does not “believe” our chaotic climate is being influenced by human behavior.  I responded that science is not based on what people believe but instead on what the data tells us.  Supportive data or lack of supportive data is the plank on which scientists rest their determinative fulcrum.  And in this case the data is overwhelming: Our chaotic climate is indeed a product of human deeds.

So here we are in early February and the duraznillo is flowering.  Yes, I was surprised to see the blooms but other plants are blossoming as well.  Way too early and definitely out of kilter, I am now wondering if this means that a torturous summer lies ahead.  Of course, my in denial relative will continue with her quintessential head in the sand (as will others) but the data is clear and continues to mount.

I will be watching the plants and in a few weeks the little peaches will be ripe and the birds will gather in hordes and the deer will arrive as well and the old Woods Roamer will be there too.  We’ll eat the peaches ripe and, if the birds give me a chance, I’ll make some tasty jam.  I’ll keep you informed.
Family: Rosaceae
Scientific Name: Prunas texana
Folk Name: Duraznillo (little peach); Brushland Peach