I’ve never lived in a place that has four traditional seasons. Raised in Southern California, I’ve spent the last 43 years in the Arizona Sonoran Desert.  We  don’t have snow in winter, nor do we have many deciduous trees that dazzle with colorful leaves in the fall.What we do have, though, are palo verde trees. The name palo verde translates from Spanish to “green stick”.The most common palo verdes have distinctive, bright green bark–this bark is green because of chlorophyll. Photosynthesis occurs through the bark to feed the trees, as well as through the leaves. They form a canopy of feathery green leaves, providing dappled, much appreciated shade in the desert heat.To me, the most amazing aspect of palo verdes is when they bloom near the end of spring–scads of bright yellow flowers adorn the stretching branches. Our desert breezes dislodge the flowers, which float and swirl in the air, creating yellow carpets on streets, sidewalks, and lawns. To see a palo verde in full bloom, against a brilliant azure Arizona sky, and, if you’re lucky, a rock formation, is breathtaking. It also is a sign to Arizonans that summer is just around the corner.

Colors of Spring
Palo Verde tree
Blooms eddying in the air
Harbinger of heat.