Desert Weirdness

I just don’t get it sometimes. Nature, I mean.

Some things make no sense to me.

Pseudacris triseriata The trail was dense with...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For instance, there are these cricket-sized frogs that hatch out en masse at a certain time every year here. The air overflows with the raucous miniature croaking. An occasional bike path or sidewalk crawls with the tiny hoppers migrating from some unknown place to another nondescript and unknown place. This event last three or four days max. Then, from what I’ve been told, the little critters burrow back under ground for another year.

What’s up with that insanity?

The spines of Fouquieria splendens (Ocotillo) ...

The spines of Fouquieria splendens (Ocotillo) develop from the leaf petioles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Then there’s the Ocotillo. This strange plant looks like a cluster of dead sticks for eleven months of the year. Then, if there is any decent amount of rain, it turns green all over and pops out these flame orange tiny blooms at the very tips, ten feet in the air. Four weeks later it’s a bunch of dead looking sticks.

The point is?

I have a cactus in my front yard. It’s green, pokey, mean looking. A couple of times a year it pops out flowers. Big gorgeous blooms, stunning creamy whitish yellow-orange hand-sized beauties. At night. That’s when they bloom. By time the sun is up they’ve closed up. Somehow they manage to get pollinated, a very few of them, because there’s kiwi like fruit on the thing later on. But why only at night. I have to set an alarm and remind myself to go take a look to enjoy them. Yes, I’ve heard of night blooming gardens. Yes, it sounds delightful, if you’re a night person, which I’m not.


Palm Trees with Sun Behind Them

Palm Trees with Sun Behind Them (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And someone thought the desert would be a good place for palm trees. Why? They provide about as much shade as an airplane flying overhead.

There are also, inexplicably, long needled pine trees, big hulking masses of messy brownish, grayish fluff. In the desert? I don’t understand. Really, pine trees? In the desert?

Of course people thought we needed lakes in the desert with houses around them. So, naturally, there are manmade lakes in the middle of the desert. We’re not talking a reservoir for irrigating and providing water to the farmers and such. No, this is nonsensical, let’s-pretend-we-don’t-live-in-a-desert-but-lakeside-in-the-mountains kind of thinking.


The desert in Southern California. Somewhere i...

The desert. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What I’m the most mystified by is that people thought settling in the middle of the desert was a great idea. Who thought of this idea? Who followed the dude who thought of the idea and went along with it? In the foothills, okay, maybe, I can see that. But no, we’re in the middle of the middle of the desert here.

Can you tell I’m getting pre-meltdown-summer crankiness?  My own special brand of PMS.

The thermometer breached the nineties already and it’s not even the merry merry month of May yet. Gaaaaaaa!!

The desert is all about adaptation and survival. I get that. I’m not feeling very adaptive or survivalist today.

Call it fascinating. And mystifying.

It’s weird.

Categories: Nature, Outdoors | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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