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Botanical and garden photography by Gayla Trail.
This was a very common sight in the countryside and a darn smart way to reinforce a fence. The euphorbia along this fence were small but I saw some nearly as tall as the tops of those fence poles.
While walking through the countryside I found lots of little pieces of euphorbia just laying around on the ground here and there. It was hard to resist the urge to stick one in my bag and take it home with me. I didn’t though — I feel a deep sense of guilt going through customs without breaking the law. If I were to actually do something wrong my sweaty, guilty face would surely find me in a back room undergoing a cavity search.
It’s so hot and humid in Cuba they’ve got airy shade “houses” to protect orchids and other tropicals from the intense sun while the rest of us must resort to expensive greenhouses in order to gather as much light and humidity as possible.
I took this photo at Jardin Gran Piedre, a botanical garden located up in the Sierra Maestra mountains on the site of an old coffee plantation. [You can read about our harried trip up to the garden here.] The plantation was once owned by the French and operated on the forced labor of Haitian slaves. The place operates as a tourist site and commercial Bird of Paradise flower grow-op but the bones of the old plantation still remains. The wall in this photo that now houses orchids and bromeliads probably used to be the sides of slave quarters. Opposite to this wall and not seen in the photo were intact slave houses now functioning as storage sheds for gardening tools and equipment.