Thanks to Susan Mills, I learned that today is Alexander Von Humboldt's birthday. Von Humboldt was what we might call a Renaissance man. He didn't follow a single, narrow field like geology, but rather looked for connections across the natural world. I don't know why he isn't famous in the United States as other 19th century pioneering scientists, like Darwin, are. Maybe teachers want their students to specialize and are afraid of wakening too much curiosity! Just joking.
Anyway, here is a link to a short biography from a blog at the Library of Congress. In it, the Port of Veracruz is mistakenly located in the west, not the east of Mexico.
Today is Mexico's Independence Day so here are a few photos to show our local celebrations. They seem muted this year. Few houses had decorations, and, more noticeable, there were no cohetes -- fireworks -- last night.
The left hand photo is of the tail-end of the Independence Day parade in our Colonia. It's put on by all the schools here.It is a big parade with drums and horns and dancers. Chedraui, the supermarket, brought dancers from Ballet Folklorico de Coatepec to their lobby yesterday. The dancers were excellent, my photos not so much. Three groups performed traditional Jarocho dances. They were not only exellent, but they radiated joy and energy. I am really disappointed that I don't have more to show! A couples dance was especialy charming, but my photos are very blurry so I left it out. You have to imagine the men in fringed leather jackets and cowboy hats and jeans and the women in gorgeous, brightly colored skirts with almost off the shoulder peasant blouses, swirling and stomping and flirting a bit. The right hand photo shows one chile en nogada. This is the traditional Independence Day dish: poblano peppers stuffed with shredded meat: beef and pork and chopped fruit drenched in a creamy sauce which includes ground walnuts.It's sprinkled with pomegranate seeds and maybe some parsley. It's a sweet dish and I love it. Dessert as a main course! It is traditionally said to have been created by a group of Augustine or Clarisa nuns in Puebla to honor Agustine de Iturbide after he signed the treaty ending the Mexican Revolution giving independence to Mexico. Chiles en Nogada are only prepared in August and September not only to mark Independence but because this is the season when pomagranates are ripe.