People who move to Tucson from the places where there are four distinct seasons often say that Tucson doesn’t have spring. But they just miss it because Tucson’s spring is more subtle than in other places. But, in my opinion, we do have spring and it is glorious.
One thing that is confusing for new people is that our spring starts earlier and ends earlier than it does in other places. Our spring can start as early as mid-February and it usually ends by mid-April. Since we don’t have a typical winter, although it is getting colder in Tucson than it used to get (I think), there is less of a contrast between winter and spring in Tucson. So you have to look carefully for the signs of spring in Tucson.
First the air, I love the way it feels in spring – it is warm and so soft. The air just looks and smells different in the spring. The sun shines, but it doesn’t burn like it does in summer. Spring is the time that the wild flowers bloom. Many yards in spring, including my own, are a riot of color, yellow and orange from daisies, poppies, desert marigolds and globe mallow, with accents of pink and red from penstemons. In my yard, there are also purple lupines, desert bells and verbena. Right now the Palo Verde trees are just beginning to bloom, so the whole desert will be yellow gold with their blooms.
Another spring characteristic is that this is the time when we don’t need use either heat or cooling in our houses. I personally try to extend this time as long as possible. But it’s great to be able to keep doors and windows open and let the lovely outside come inside.
I just like to be outside during spring. The first year that I retired I spent most of March and April sitting in my back yard reading and just soaking in the warm spring feeling and looking at the flowers. I’ve always thought of spring as our reward for living through summer. Or you can think of it as our reprieve before the hot weather begins. Either way, spring is Tucson’s wonderful secret season.