Monday, July 12, 2010
Our Palo Verde Tree
When we moved into our house three years ago, there was a tiny palo verde tree in the front yard. There wasn't much else there, except for sand and maybe a lizard. My husband and I have since added other plants and some flagstone, not only to make it look better, but also to keep some of that sand from coming into the house. I recently came across a photo of our palo verde, the way it looked the first spring we lived here. I thought you might enjoy seeing how much it has grown since then. This second photo was taken this spring, when this lovely tree was in full bloom and covered with bees. This tree is one that I love in the spring, because when the yellow blossoms begin to drop, they carpet the front yard. I like to sit under it and pretend I am in a desert fairy land. (Active imagination goes right along with being an artist, you know.)
I did a bit of reading about the Palo Verde tree. It is the state tree of Arizona, and the words palo verde are Spanish for "green stick" or "green wood." That name no doubt comes from the green branches and trunk of this desert tree. It can live to be 100 years old! It is not native to our area, here in Joshua Tree. The elevation of Joshua Tree is a little too high for this tree, and I have been told by the man at the local garden center that during a really cold winter, there is a chance this tree may not survive. I hope that it does survive, because I am fond of it now. Hopefully, with the protection of the adobe wall around our yard and the proximity to the house will shelter it somewhat. At least I can enjoy it while it is thriving.
The thing that I find particularly ironic about this tree comes from my childhood. I grew up in a small town in Western South Dakota called Rapid City. (It is close to Mount Rushmore and Deadwood.) We lived on the top of a hill, and our street was called "Palo Verde Drive." There are no Palo Verde Trees in Rapid City, and there weren't that many Spanish-speaking people in our small Midwestern town. In fact, the whole time I lived on Palo Verde Drive, I never knew what the words "palo verde" meant. Now I am living in the Mohave Desert in Southern California and I have a Palo Verde Tree in my front yard! Life is full of unexpected surprises, that's for sure.
This week, I am hoping for more days in the studio, so I should have new paintings to show you soon. Thanks for stopping by!