June means summer is really here. Not just around the corner. Not next month. Not coming soon but HERE! And when summer arrives here in the desert, it doesn’t mess around. You open the door and boom – there it is. Right in your face. If the sun is up, you might think you’ve opened the door to an inferno or at the very least, your oven. June is part of our fifth season in the desert called dry summer. It’s the calm before the monsoon storms and while it may sound miserable, there is still a lot of beauty to enjoy.
The month of May has a noticeable temperature gain from start to end but June, June starts hot and gets hotter. June is the purest definition of desert here in Arizona. As the heat ramps up, a quietness comes over the desert. The flowers are done blooming and the fruit begins to set on the cacti. Many of the migrating birds have moved on leaving behind only the hardiest. The reptiles are everywhere doing their pushups and slithering through the sand. The skies are a never-ending deep blue and the sun is high and intense and white hot.
So you may wonder, where is the beauty in that?
When it gets desert hot, you have to look a little harder to find the beauty. It’s at its best at sunrise. First thing in the morning, the winds are gentle and smell of the desert – just a hint of the sweet aroma of the mistletoe in the trees, the last of the vegetation as it lets go for the summer and a bit dusty. The desert wren and Gambel’s quail are the most prominent bird calls now. Most of the songbirds have moved on to cooler climates.
And as the sun climbs higher, it gets very quiet as they all take shelter until it gets low in the sky before sunset. You can feel the desert holding still, just waiting for monsoon when it’ll come alive again. So I won’t lie and say June is my favorite month but since it’s part of living in the desert, I do like the feeling of change it brings.
My surprise success!
This picture of a beautiful zinnia is my one surprise success this season. I planted my seeds like I do twice every year with the certainty that I’ll have a forest of amazing blooms. And as happens every year, the little seedlings become lizard treats. Since it got too late to plant seeds and expect them to bloom before it got too hot, I filled this bed up with lantana. After a few weeks of constant watering, I saw this zinnia bloom poking out of the lantana! You can just make out the tattered leaves where the finches feasted on them and I’m ok with that. I hope that you’ve been lucky enough to see a flock of finches devour a field of flowers – they look like pure happiness! Of course the flowers not as much.
The new June birthday card is here!
And as happens every month – the new birthday card is unveiled. You can find it HERE on the website.
Succulents in a martini glass – woohoo! You don’t even have to like martinis to like this bunch of succulents all bloomed out and ready to celebrate. Send someone this happy succulents card on their special day and make them smile when they see your name on the card.