Everything Desert


My Desert Experiences Blog

Life-Giving Rain on the Desert

Posted on December 18, 2011 at 7:45 PM

Our desert plants are truly AMAZING in their ability to be able to adapt to extreme climate stress. Most of our woody shrubs and trees adapt to drought by dropping their leaves so as not to lose their precious internal water through the pores on their leaf surface (called transpiration). Cacti have other ways to adapt. With our recent, glorious rains the common, yet medicinally important brittlebush, triangle leaf bursage and wolfberry have just leafed out practically overnight. Just last week their stems were naked with a few dried leaf parts here and there, reminding us of the extreme lenght of time since our last significant rain. They have been waiting. And waiting. And now they are bursting forth with fresh, new life holding all possibilities for themselves and for us. On my walks, where once there was a mountainside of mostly nothing but dried clumps of stems and stalks, holding onto hope for a day of rain, now is alive with growth and abundant life. Even some of the wolfberry have put forth loads of new blossoms from which will provide their berry , so nutrious and high in anitoxidants. That is, if the winter rains keep coming and we don't get a late freeze, as happened last spring. The woody plants have deeper roots so take perhaps a week or so to respond to new moisture, whereas the cacti have shallow roots and respond to rains almost immmeditately. If you stand real quiet and still on the desert floor after a rain you can actually hear the water soaking down through the soil (and I imamgine I can hear s sigh of relilef from the plants' roots). Standing still I can also practically see the tiny green native grasses pushing up through the softened crust. I am happy to have by friends the brittlebush and wolfberry and bursage back with me. I have been waiting to be with them in their glory for 5 months.



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