Yes, We Do Have Seasons Here
It’s winter here in the Sonoran Desert, and that means that for the last month, it’s been in the 60s and low 70s every day. The skies are blue and cloudless, and the sun weakly does its best to provide plenty of cheer (if not much warmth).
It rained in December, enough to get our 2013 yearly total up to 11.5″, which is near enough to our yearly average (12″), and that’s a good thing. Now we’re deep in the season that local gardeners are calling the “green haze”. This is one of those weird, charming seasons in southern Arizona that somehow doesn’t make it into the photography magazines. And it should, because it’s so magical.
You’ve seen the pictures of my back yard: a flat oval of featureless dirt. But in this season, there seems to be just a little greenish tinge to it, especially at the edges:
Suddenly, from nowhere, tiny plants seem to be taking over the land. Everywhere you look, the spaces that were blank dirt just last week are not quite as blank and empty as they had been.
Several little plants are represented.
Some of it looks like tiny leaf lettuce.
Some of it is wispy grass.
Mostly you see it in the corners and edges of spaces, but some grows in little clumps right out in the open.
If you don’t look too closely, you just get a vague sense that the world has gone all green and fuzzy, without it actually looking green. Or fuzzy.
Seasons aren’t just about weather, although the weather can be a contributing factor. But seasons can also be counted by the tiny ecological opportunities for new life that occur in succession across the year. And just now we’re having the season of the green haze.