Spring is coming. It's the season when poets wax inspired and gardeners anticipate a three-month long period of regeneration, a wealth of new plant growth, and balmy weather with clear blue skies and crisp cool nights. On the High Desert we get all that good stuff too however our spring, like our fall, arrives in the form of a short warm period of transition between our other seasons: Hotter; Hottest; Windy; and Cold with a chance of Wet. Our weather is severe but survivable because we have learned to cope with whatever arrives.
During the Hotter season, we don't spend time turning over garden soil to rid it of skinny, prolific weeds that pester other localities during spring. Our soil is not rich enough to support group activity. Desert weeds are isolated occurrences with a growth rate that defies reason. High Desert gardeners can pull these out at the root if they wait until the targeted offender has reached a height easily grabbed without bending over. Leather garden gloves are recommended before engaging the sharp bristles on the weed stem. And while not bending keeps the incidence of gardener's back sprain to a minimum; if root entrenchment necessitates a tugging match we are advised to avoid the encounter. When conventional eradication methods fail, we can rest assured the weeds will soon shrink and die from the hot sun waiting for the arrival of Hottest.
It's best to do outside chores during the Hottest season. By then tools left exposed during the Cold with a chance of Wet season are sun cured and ready for use without de-rusting. It isn't necessary to add air to the pneumatic tires on garden equipment that went flat earlier in the year. Heat is our helper. It will cause the air to expand; inflating tires naturally, at the same time it absorbs the water, through our pores, that we consumed to ward off heat-stroke.
The Windy season creates a dust-up on any day it chooses to arrive and lasts for as long as it stays. Although our wind is not as strong, as described in the children's song as "blowing the old man's whiskers in"; it is strong enough that our ladies don't need to invest in a chemical facial peal. Skin exposed to the sand-blasting of the desert wind gets as much exfoliation as it can handle.
When wind knocks out electric power, we are relived from systematically having to rotate the food in the freezer. It brings sand drifts onto lawns delivering natural desert landscaping at no cost. We don't need a comb or brush as the wind will provide a whole new hairdo by the time we arrive at our destination. Acclimatizing to these winds will save us the expense of installing solid fences around our property. The winds demonstrate that chain link fences are not at risk of being blown down.
When screens stop shimmering because they departed from the windows in a hurry, the neighbor's trash is chasing the tumbleweeds down the road, cloud formations move across the sky as rapidly as Olympic bobsledders rushing to the finish line, when it sounds like items placed in the attic are going to crash through the ceiling, and when taking the car for a drive will result in filing a compressive claim with the insurer, we are well advised not to venture outside unless, we are in need of a boost from nature for a hasty get away.
The Cold with a chance of Wet season brings either liquid or frozen wetness. It usually arrives all at once. When it rains, we don't need umbrellas because nothing is within walking distance. When it snows, schools close and we might get a vacation from work on days when the snowplow can't keep the Pass open to traffic. Rain and snow are equal opportunity elements as to damage and cause us to appreciate the warmth and safety of staying home.
These advantages may not offset all the inconveniences of our weather; but, when we experience discomfort from our seasons, we should remember that desert dwellers have the resolve and steadfastness to match all our seasons. We will survive irrespective of changes in the climate.