Flores Silvestres | Mexico | Living in Mexico

Flores Silvestres

Our high central plain, the Bahio, has a climate that reminds me a little of California's coastal valleys, where I spent most of my life before moving south of the border. Temperatures are mild year-round. Rainfall is scant: about 20" per year. Much of the year, the campo (countryside) is covered with dry, brown grasses. (In California, we say "golden," not "brown.")

The rainy season in the Bahio starts in June and ends in late September or early October. Toward the end of the rains, wildflowers bloom.


Girasol (Turns-to-the-sun: sunflower)

In a rainy year like this one, great swathes of flowers carpet the land, rivaling anything depicted in Arizona Highways Magazine.


Girasol con polilla (moth)

On narrow roads where the verges have not been cut, sunflowers tower over the car.

Riparian plants bloom at Parque Landeta.


Foreground: Cinco llagas (Five wounds: marigold)
Matapulga? (Flea killer: pinkweed)

Looking closely reveals charming, isolated blooms.


White: Estrella (Mexican star)
Mal de ojo (Illness of eye: Peruvian zinnia)
Ojo de pollo (Chicken's Eye: Mexican creeping zinnia)

I love the contrast of marigolds with ripe tunas de nopal (prickly pear fruit).


Vacant lots in the city center yield intense color.


Manto (Cloak: Morning glory)

Rosita poses in front of a wild field of cosmos, knowing it makes her look good.


Mirasol (Looks-at-the-sun: Cosmos)

September is perhaps our finest month. Violent afternoon thundershowers, puffy clouds in an impossible blue sky, pleasant temperatures, and millions of wildflowers to walk through and enjoy.

Summer vacations are over. Tourists are back to work or school, and we lucky few have all this beauty to ourselves.

[The wildflowers were identified with the aid of Richard Cretcher's excellent illustrated guide, Flores Sylvestres de San Miguel de Allende, which unfortunately is available only in San Miguel. Any errors in identification are mine.]