For all the time I’ve spent in deserts over the last five years, I’ve never actually witnessed the coming of Spring. This winter in the southwestern desert has been fierce cold winds, freezing nights, and brilliant blue skies between dust storms. I’ve gotten used to seeing brown mesas, weathered bushes bare of leaves or blooms, and dead branches bleached white by the sun.
Even today, my walk started out with the usual winter palette, evoking an Ansel Adams landscape or perhaps the film shots of John Ford.
And then, I looked up…
My heart exploded with happiness! The ocotillo was in full bloom, the red screaming out SPRING as the branches stretched upward to the blue sky.
I felt a bit like when I was a kid watching the Wizard of Oz as the movie switched from black and white to color. Everywhere I looked today, I saw explosions of colors: tiny yellow blossoms on brittlebush (cover photo) and little-leaved Palo Verde bushes, bright orange buds on the Desert Globemallow, and a red crown on this new arm of an Organ Pipe cactus.
Everyone is getting into the Spring thing here in the desert. Just look at the beautiful buds on the Buckhorn Cholla cactus. Did you know they’re edible (when picked and prepared very carefully to avoid the spines)? Neither did I. Here’s a short video on that, just to share the knowledge.
If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, Happy Spring!
She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
“Winter is dead.
If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, here’s your quotation for today:
Winter is coming.
George R. R. Martin