Teasing us

January 26, 2015  •  1 Comment

While the United States eastern seaboard is preparing for a winter storm of epic proportions, we are experiencing a January thaw - the second in as many weeks. Nature teases us.  Four days ago, our low temperature was -7, and the high yesterday was 47.  The predicted high temperature today is 52, so we seem to be in a storm, snow, cold, thaw cycle for the time being.  A roller coaster to be sure but it has some interesting benefits.

When the temperature warms above freezing and the sun is shining, the trees begin to warm, sending out wonderful smells and teasing us about spring.  Occasionally, if it is both warm and windy, we are the recipients of smells from the direction of the wind.  Sometimes, we get the smell of big city pollution, but other times, we get the most incredible smells from the Sonoran desert.  Whether it is creosote bush or greasewood, or a combination, it is a smell of life where the earth is warming.  One of those warm climate species and my favorite tree of the desert is the Palo Verde tree - in Latin - Parkinsonia florida.  It sports green bark ranging from an olive drab to bright lime.  The photograph below is the actual color of a Palo Verde near Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona during a particularly wet spring.  

Palo Verde treePalo Verde tree

The Palo Verde is Arizona's state tree.

As has been demonstrated over the years in my blogs, tree bark fascinates me. Particularly interesting is the palm tree, which has several different consistencies of bark on the same tree.

palm bark abstractpalm bark abstract

Here is another layer of palm bark.

palm bark detail 2palm bark detail 2 In this time of nature's tease, let the smells work their way into you and the goodness that lies therein.

until next Monday,


a passion for the [email protected]


Steve Immel(non-registered)
The Sonoran desert is my favorite and you've given us a look at how colorful it can be with the image of the Palo Verde. Then you've drilled down to these compelling details of palm bark which are rich still lifes full of textures and patterns that seem almost mathematical. It reminds us to look more closely at nature's bounty.
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