This is a quote from "Hillel the Elder" from the first century. (I thought I was so original!)

Monday, November 10, 2014

End of the Dry Season in Zambia

In North America I always thought of Spring being the time of renewal.  There it is a time of drying out and increased sunshine that warms the earth.  Perhaps the last of a few gentle showers to give moisture to the blossoms.

Here in Lusaka we have been six or seven months without rain.  It has been dry and now dusty and the heat is building.  It is nearing the end of the "Dry Season".

The remarkable thing about getting to the end of the dry season is that according to the trees it seems like a Spring.

The Jacaranda takes its timing at this dry time of year to first put out rich new lavender blossoms.
I can't take my eyes off them.

After the blossoms fall and leave a carpet of lavender, the leaves appear and the pods that contain hundreds of seeds.

The pods quickly dry in the heat and will burst to scatter the seeds when the rains arrive.

Next comes the flame trees that also put on a spectacular show with radiant red blossoms but still no rain in sight.

Jacaranda at our favorite gas station.

Next the bare Plumeria trees break forth in vibrant blossoms from bare limbs.

The Plumeria or Frangipani trees come in many different individual colors.

Each blossom is like a little bouquet.

But I must admit I keep going back to the Jacarandas

This one is seen from my office window.

They are a miracle of the dry and the heat.

Of course I like to look at trees of all sorts and it is probably why I was so enthralled with caring for bonsai.  Below is a closeup of a Fan Palm.

This tree was shaped so magnificently, encompassing everything below it.  I wonder how many families have lived out their lives under that tree?

This tree is a survivor.  Even in the heat it shows new growth.

Certain sections of Zambia have these beautiful white bark trees scattered in the bush.
This one apparently must wait for the wet season.

If you look closely each of these little blossoms looks like an orchid.  These trees can get really big and just a mass of color.

Still dry but leaves are starting to appear.

The new leaves here are a beautiful rust color as they begin to appear.

Blossoms seem to be a last effort just before the wet begins.

Every tree that looks like a survivor waiting for the wet gets my attention.

Most get to the point of waiting for the wet season to drop their seeds so that germination conditions are perfect.

Kristi and I found this labyrinth south of town out in the bush.  This fellow was quite interesting sharing his philosophy about life.  The labyrinth was only mentioned in one article I read and it said you needed to email to get directions.  It is open to the public only on rare occasions.  It was just by luck I was able to find it since there are no signs anywhere.  Once we arrived I explained that I had emailed but didn't get a response so he was very gracious and let us experience the labyrinth.
I have this photo in here to show you how the thick bush really looks.  It is difficult walking and in past years pretty dangerous not knowing what sleeping predator you could stumble upon.

The end of the dry season seems to bring out the best in nature, or perhaps it is the last ditch effort of trying to reproduce itself in anticipation of the rains that will surely come.

In the meantime, we wait patiently in the heat and dust and enjoy these bursts of color of the Jacaranda, waiting for the refreshing drink that will soon follow.