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December 18, 2022

Red Ocotillo - and Macadamia Nuts

Red Ocotillo:

We spent Thanksgiving in the desert…  I should have prepared to turn that into a blog outing as we did a difficult Jeep trail between 17 Palms and S2, the Southern Truckhaven Trail.  But I was there mainly to see the Red Ocotillo.

Red Ocotillo

After our long drought the ocotillo had dropped all their leaves.  As they recover and leaf out the new leaves are red.  Entire forests of Red Ocotillo.  This is the first time I have seen one.

Macadamia Nuts:

The neighbor’s Macadamia Nut trees are ready to supply a us with some Christmas cookies.

Macadamia Nuts

I use a fruit tree picker to pluck them from the tree.  Although the branches hang well over the fence, the picker reaches over the fence.  Yes, with the neighbor's complete cooperation.

Not just a fruit picker

I gathered a enough for the cookies from the 2 trees.  On one tree the nuts grow in one or twos on a long stem.  The other in clusters, like grapes.

As the husks dry out, they shrink and crack.

In the husk and drying

The shells also need to dry out until they become rigid and brittle.

In the shell drying

I separate the nut from the shell by slamming, it with force onto a hard surface.  Then shake if, if the nut does not rattle inside the shell it’s not yet ready.

I place the shelled nuts in small snack bags for use or freezing.


Fran roasted all the ones I collected in this first harvest, nothing for the freezer.


The cookie dough also contains white chocolate.  The cookies are delish.

Even the dough is good

I took one batch is provided to the neighbors … Who declared them “fricken delicious”.  That’s one reason they want us to collect nuts from both side of the fence.  They really do not take the time to do anything with them.

Meanwhile on our side of the fence, we’ve been having mandarins for breakfast for the past couple weeks.

The lime tree is always an over producer.

While the lemon tree is lazy and never produces enough ... but just enough to keep me from replacing it.

We’ll be eating oranges about the same time we run out of mandarins.

We wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and the all the best in 2023.


  1. Looks like you will have to come up with some sort of lime/macadamia recipe!

    1. I've not tried a Macadamia Margarita, thanks for the suggestion !!! :}

  2. It's Gay...Lucky you to have macadamia nuts from the neighbor's tree and lucky neighbors to have "fricken delicious" cookies! Merry Christmas Jeff and Fran!

    1. LOL! They are great neighbors, and fun to share our harvest from their trees with them.
      Merry Christmas, to you and Joe and the family.

  3. Merry Christmas to you and Fran. Those cookies look divine, two of my favorite flavors mmmmmm

    1. Thanks Suzi, the cookies are indeed 'fricken delicious'.
      We wish you, Dave and Lew a very Merry Christmas and all the best in 2023

  4. Jodee GravelDecember 22, 2022

    What a treat to have that bounty in your backyard!! Merry Christmas to you and yours.

    1. Thanks Jodee! And we wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and all thee best in 2023.

  5. The Ocotillo are red near the Cargo Muchacho Mts also. Nice bunch of local food gathering.

    1. The Red Ocotillo are a result of our prolonged drought. I was glad for the opportunity to see them, but we sure could use the rain.


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