Spring in Jocotepec

Karen wrote a great post about the coming of the seed catalogs to her home in Montana, where she lolls by the fire dreaming of the coming of spring.  I am here to tell you that in my pueblo of Jocotepec, spring is here!  And it didn’t just stroll in, it arrived with all the subtly of Lady Gaga walking into a room full of Republicans! 

This is no kidding around spring.  This is an in your face, look at me, I’m here spring!   Here around Lake Chapala, Jalisco, most of think us that we have three seasons:  the hot, dry season which normally lasts from about the beginning of April to the middle of June; the rainy season, which lasts from the middle of June to the end of September or to the middle of October; and the cooler season lasting from the end of the rainy season until the beginning of the hot season.

But this year, things seem to have gone a bit awry.  The rainy season, which normally tapers off from full blown thunderstorms to a few sprinkles, shut down one day in mid September as if all the clocks in the heavens hit the 5pm mark on a Friday afternoon.  There might as well have been a blazing sign in the sky that read “Rainy season is now closed.”

So we dawdled through the rest of September into January with fabulous temperatures and no clouds in the sky.  Then, for about three weeks we got into the cooler season.   What that means here in lovely, downtown Joco is that we actually had to sleep with a duvet or two on the bed and even the male Canadian snowbirds were sometimes seen in long pants.

But about the beginning of February, the daytime temperatures here shot up to almost 80 degrees Fahrenheit.  I wasn’t ready for it to be so warm so early.  February is the month when folks from around Lake Chapala make their way to the Pacific coast to start warming up their old bodies again, just like I did when I went to Manzanillo to visit with friends. 

Homes around the lake don’t normally have any kind of central heating or air conditioning because they, for the largest part of the year, don’t need it.  So while most of you NOB would say “oh, for cripe sake, 40 degrees isn’t cold!”, we here at Lake Chapala DO find it cold, both because we are more acclimated to warmer temperatures and because we have no way to “take the chill off” when it gets that cool.

So by February, most of us are cold all day because after crawling out from under the covers, we never really get warmed up during the day.  But this year was different.  Almost as soon as the calendar flipped to February, the temperatures flipped, too.  We went from highs in the low 60s to highs in the high 70s.  And by the middle of February, we were reaching the 80s during the day.

We weren’t the only living things aware of this early heat wave; the plants were too.  And plants being plants, they demonstrated their awareness by growing like weeds [yes, an ironic metaphor, I realize].

So, while Karen sits by the fire and happily devours her seed catalogs, here are a few pictures of what the plants at my house are doing.  To paraphrase Robert Browning, “oh, to be at Lake Chapala now that spring is here”:


About Barbara

in april of 2008, i moved from the united states to mexico. during my working days, i held lots and lots of jobs....almost all chosen because they were fun or interesting instead of how much they paid. when i started thinking about retirement (in my 40s), i realized that i would never be able to retire to a country where english was the native language. and although i had traveled to every state in the US -- and lived in lots of them -- i had never been outside the country with the exception of canada and mexico. and since you now know that i could never afford to retire in canada (even to the french-speaking area), mexico won by default.
This entry was posted in Gardening, Lake Chapala, Weather and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Spring in Jocotepec

  1. Jonnie says:

    What a wonderful piece. You need to add a picture of the primaveras and the jacarandas that are also blooming. I just love this place.

  2. Gigi says:

    What a pleasure to see such sprightly colors – here in the AZ desert nothing is blooming yet, but skies are blue and clear! Hooray for croton and the spiky sunflowers!

  3. gayle says:

    well good for you! It’s the end of March here in Portland Oregon, and we still only have a hint of things green popping up (and most of them weeds). Only a few hardy daffodils are peeking out, and the winter daphne is still undecided. Hopefully by the end of this week, we’ll have our first 60 degree day. Lordy lordy – the weeds are going to go crazy….

    As for me, I’m still headed for bed every night in my full sweatsuit & wool socks, under a down comforter. But I have to admit it gets a little overheated by about 4am. But that could be (only) because of my advanced age & bodyfat composition!

    ps: love your blog site!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s