Desert the Bittersweet

This is the kind of friend the desert is…the kind that tells you he just gave you the clap, but on the up side, he thinks you’re the one.

Here’s a question, does anyone even know what the clap is anymore? For those of you who weren’t sexually active in the seventies, or perhaps not yet born, it’s an STD. But for this analogy, it’s the caterpillars in my garden. And the upside is that my friend the desert can bring on beauty overnight just as easily as it can deliver decimation, often simultaneously.

To wit, the triple digit temperatures arrived this week and set off a flurry of blooms. Maybe the plants think the world is about to erupt into flames, so they must make hay while they may. Kind of like how everyone ran out and got laid for the Y2K Armageddon.

This happened in my garden:

Texas Sage exploded overnight. A gorgeous plant that usually is mal-pruned, so no one gets to see its blooms.

Texas Sage exploded overnight. A gorgeous plant that usually is mal-pruned, so no one gets to see its blooms.

The Tranquility Tree I've pruned to cascade over the courtyard entry went nuts with its tiny yellow flowers this season. Best blooms to date.

The Tranquility Tree I’ve pruned to cascade over the courtyard entry went nuts with its tiny yellow flowers this season. Best blooms to date.

The blooms up close.

The blooms up close.

p.s. Thanks to Anne Carson for writing Eros the Bittersweet…well…for writing everything she’s ever written.

The Week of Spring

I’ve been busy making stuff up, so haven’t taken much time to write nonfiction, a term I’ve never much cared for anyhow. It irritates me when something is described by what it lacks. Especially when it doesn’t lack the thing. Real life is rarely more real than fiction and fiction is rarely less real than real life. Yet, people who fail to be able to differentiate the two are called crazy. Go figure.

Today I had to take a break from making things up to point out that the week of spring here is lovely. Short, but lovely. Sometimes, spring lasts nearly a month before the sun gets just too close and ruins the whole ecstatic explosion of new life. Most years we get one week. There’s a toad in Arizona that can go from egg to four-legged creature in the amount of time it takes a largish puddle to evaporate. Life adjusts to our fleeting orgy of spring and every year I mourn its passing. So, gorge on these images. They’re blooms from the part of my garden I barely ever tend. At some point I planted a few plants. Occasionally I stick a hose over there. And by occasionally I mean almost never. Yet, every spring nature gives me this. It comes about the time the mesquite tree that protects this part of the yard from the sun gets fat with catkins and the big black bees spend the week in a drunken swirling dance all around the canopy. They stumble-fly home all covered with pollen like drunks with hooker lipstick on their collars.

I’m not bragging about my green thumb, since I don’t do diddly for this sexfest of flowers. I’m just posting some garden porn by way of saying thanks for the peep show.

ImageImageImageThis last one looks like fireworks, or how I image fireworks if I ever was lucky enough to see them from above instead of through the trees near my house every fourth of July (or just about every weekend. My town is wacky for fireworks).