Sunday, September 4, 2011

Messy mesquites

The several Honey Mesquite trees that line our back fence make up a key component of our backyard Wildscape, and yet they are not even on our property. The trees provide roosting and loafing cover for a variety of birds that visit our Wildscape, including Mourning Doves, White-winged Doves, Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, and Great Kiskadees. These mesquites also provide valuable morning and mid-day shade for plants and wildlife in our Wildscape, which is especially important in the summer months. 

One of the drawbacks of the mesquite trees is the annual bean drop, which seems to multiply from year to year. It gets really messy. Another negative for us is the fact that a couple of the trees are situated too close to our fence, and they appear to be determined to displace the fence as they continue to grow. We expect that the mesquites are probably destined for removal within the next couple of years as the subdivision behind our property continues to develop. If we're right about that, I know I'll miss the shade and the other benefits that these mesquites provide, but I won't miss the beans.

Mid-afternoon. Looking east. Our Wildscape would sure
look different without the presence of the mesquite trees.

Looking west from the vacant property behind ours. When we moved
to our current house nine years ago, this property was wooded.  Right
behind our fence (where the trees are now) was a caliche road that led
to a mobile home situated behind our next-door neighbor's property. Within
a few years (about five or six years ago), someone removed the mobile home and
cleared the land for a new subdivision.  The abandoned utility pole is all that remains,
plus these mesquite trees which reestablished themselves soon after the land was cleared.

 Looking northwest. The roof of our house is visible from this angle.

Some of the beans that I have yet to pick up in our Wildscape.

The hundreds of beans that I did pick up so far this year.

1 comment:

  1. When I was a parents would take us out to collect Mesquite beans to eat. I don't exactly recall how we prepared them...but they are edible. Check out the sight below and maybe we can make some Mesquite Bean Flour to cook with.