Flowers in the Desert

It’s Monsoon season, which is a pain in the ass. It’s also pretty necessary, because this is the time of year when we get the bulk of our moisture. There’s rain and snow in winter and spring, but now’s the time we get our big gully busters.

Still. Mud. Flash floods. Never being sure the roads will be passable from one hour to the next. Kind of a pain in the ass. Good thing there’s all these flowers.

That’s my yard, between the driveway and the wash, in the afternoon light. Millions of tiny yellow, white and purple flowers everywhere.

And here’s the hind end of Ian’s cave.

This year even the cliff roses bloomed, and they usually only bloom in spring. They’re everywhere.

These bushes can get big, taller than head high. But I was surprised to see them bloom this summer.

What I wasn’t surprised to see is these things…

…because they’re everywhere in this season. They’re having a good year, though.

I don’t know what most of these are called, so bear with me. The blooms above only open in the evening; they spend the middle of the day tightly closed even when it’s overcast.

We also have lots of Sacred Datura, I know what they’re called.

Dark glossy foliage and great big splashy white flowers, they’re hard to miss.

But I don’t have a clue what the rest of these are called.







And here’s something that made me really happy. Four years ago when we had an exceptionally wet Monsoon, the land over my leach field was covered with tall bushes with bright yellow flowers like daisies. A field of flowers waving in the breeze, I said at the time it was like my yard thought it had died and gone to New England.

Those flowers seeded like crazy, and for two more years I had tall wavy bushes covered with flowers every summer. Then last spring cattle came in my yard overnight and mowed the young plants down. No flowers last year, and I assumed there would be none this year.

But some of those seeds skipped a year and germinated in the fenced enclosure where my pathetic attempt at a garden lies collapsing in the sun. 🙂 All I had to do to save them from the cattle was to close the gate.


In the autumn those flowers will seed like crazy. Most of the seeds will probably be eaten by birds but some won’t, and I can hope that I’ll get my field of wavy yellow flowers back.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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4 Responses to Flowers in the Desert

  1. Ben says:

    They are beautiful, but it would be even better If at least some of them were delicious and nourishing.

  2. Mark Matis says:

    Well they are, Ben. At least to the cows…

  3. feralfae says:

    Beautiful Joel, thank you for posting the flowers! Great to see the celebration of water in the desert! Just lovely.

  4. Claire says:

    Thank you for this, Joel. Just thank you.

To the stake with the heretic!