The Monsoons Turn the Desert Green....and Then Yellow

by Dan Weisz

Web presentation by Douglas Everett at Hummingbird Market

Meanwhile, after our very rainy July, the desert is deliciously green.  With the summer rains comes Tucson’s “Second Spring”.  This Second Spring brings new plant growth, including and explosion of yellows.  The creosote bushes in the foothills are blooming.

As are some of the acacia trees

And even some mesquite trees are getting into the act

The Devil’s Claw plant flower is a yellowy-orange.  For information on how the Tohono O’ogham use this plant, see  http://www.nativeseeds.org/learn/seed-diaries/365-tohono-o-odham-devil-s-claw 

And Desert Senna are blooming in bunches along the roads

Barrel Cacti come in to bloom at this time of year.  Here is one yellow crown of flower buds

And the flip side of plants blooming is the ocotillo plant aging quickly.  Ocotillo branches were bare until the rains began a few weeks ago.  They immediately threw out green leafs in response the the rains, but now that it hasn’t rained for a week in my neighborhood, the ocotillo are beginning toga’s’ out again, and the green leaves are turning brown.  That’s how it goes in the desert.