Agave is a plant with many uses, none of which were familiar to me when I first encountered it
in a friend's backyard in Santa Cruz, California. The bright yellow and dark green leaves were
striking, and more reptilian than plant to me. Each leaf seemed like an individual snake, ready
to strike at any moment. Surely the thorns would scratch the unwary, but I was more worried
about fangs inside the serpent's mouth, and the venom within. Beautiful and deadly, and a bit
playful. Perhaps it plays with its food. A bit cannibalistic--maybe it would snap up the small
birds that inhabited the yard! Maybe an agave leaf would sink its fangs into me!
Buzzing bees, heedless small birds, pixels of sunshine, swirling octagons of warm colors, and
morsels of snake meat and feathers and pricking thorns! I was obviously drunk on sunshine! Not being a drinker, I was unaware that agave is the main ingredient in tequila. Danger and pleasure both! On a quieter note, agave nectar, a natural sweetener, offers an alternative to sugar and high fructose corn syrup. "Agave" is an acrylic painting on canvas, 40" x 44," painted in 1981.
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