A Closer Look at Spring in Phoenix

If you live in the Sonoran Desert, your friends will make fun of the seasons. You fill find no sympathy when you are broiling your brains out in July, and people will laugh at the idea that there are distinct seasons. But they do exist.

We are now in Spring. It starts in late January or early February. You notice that the day dawns a bit earlier. Winter and Spring bring rain, oranges, lemons and the first crop of figs that drop off undeveloped. Figs have pale trunks, and in my back yard, the blooming aloe throws its shadow on the fig tree.

The aloe blossom casts a shadow on the fig tree trunk.

It’s the time to trim the fruit trees to assure you will have blossoms and fruit for next year.

Aloe blooms are 3 to 4 feet tall and look lovely against a backdrop of lemons.

Oranges and lemons are still on the tree when it blooms, and will turn to fruit by March. They will drop the extra fruit and by summer, the fruit will be the size of ping-pong balls. Fruit growth stalls in summer.

Rose, blooming in the mild Phoenix Spring.

In spring, roses bloom here. Extravagantly. I don’t love roses, because I see the blasted, baked carcasses of roses in June, July and August. But now, they are amazing.

You can see a leaf just emerging at the center, right of the plant top, against the rain cloud.

The ocotillo–tall, thorny sticks related to cactuses–put out their first inquisitive leaves and blossom shoots. The blossom shoots will bloom red in early summer, but they are developing now.

It all happens, whether you notice it or not. I’m a big believer that Nature teaches us all the lessons we need to know, if only we watch.

–Quinn McDonald is a writer and certified creativity coach who teaches writing and communication skills. Her second book, “Raw Art Journaling: Making Meaning, Making Art” will be available in 2011.