Spring in the Desert
The pomegranates are in bloom, the sweet fragrance of citrus blooms fill the air, and the olive trees planted in the mid-1890’s are beginning to set fruit. I feel very fortunate to live in the Sonoran Desert. Despite the winds which are so prevalent this time of year, it is a beautiful time right now. The days are balmy and bright, the nights cool and dry. The triple digit heat of summer that this desert is famous for is still on the horizon. Everywhere you look, a plant is showing off it’s colorful flowers: the shocking pink of Beaver Tail Prickly Pear, the dazzling yellow of Foothills Palo Verde, the waxy white of Soap Tree Yucca. The endless color varieties of oleander flowers provide a striking backdrop to the stately Saguaro cacti that are just beginning to bloom. Soon delicious fruit will be harvested from these imposing giants of the desert by the Tohono O’odham, a time honored tradition. It won’t be long before the incredibly fragrant inflorescences of the Mexican Blue Palms emerge.
As a lover of plants, especially those from the arid lands of the world, I am in heaven right now. The plants in my collection have awoken from their winter slumber as well. Not all are flowering, but almost all are putting on plenty of new growth. It is indescribable the rush one feels when seeing a new flower bud forming, or tender new leaves emerging. My wife, though not especially enthralled by plants, can still appreciate the incredible beauty of spring in the desert. I give her much credit for humoring me in my plant obsession. I know I’m a nut, but maybe the world could use a few more nuts like me! There are so many problems in the world right now; the constant bombardment of bad news leaves me numb. But I find sustenance and hope in the beauty of nature. I find peace in puttering around with my plants. Most of all, I am happy to be alive and lucky enough to see the glorious desert in all it’s glory. Cheers!
- 13 May, 2008
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