Sunday, May 8, 2011

Dry Season Scenes Near the Equator

Dry seasons have common characteristics throughout the earth! The degree of severity might however vary among places, between latitudes, among years or time within the year. I just would like to share with you the conditions of our vegetation at the onset of this year's dry season. I have been telling you about this season we have here, and have posted some consequences to our plants and crops, in previous posts.

If temperate climates have their winter, which almost totally eliminate exposed annuals, and trees also exhibit major conformation with the environmental conditions, the dry season is our counterpart in terms of harshness to living things.

This is a typical picture of our landscapes, grasses and weeds become brown and die. Only the deep rooted trees remain green and can wait for the next rainy season.

Some weeds hasten maturation to shed their seeds before they die. But this weeds seem to be a bit more drought tolerant. Insects are also seen still alighting on these wild flowers.

The above photo is a good example of the range of trees' responses to drought. Some just curl their leaves to lessen their moisture loss, others totally shed their leaves for adjustment, while others are totally oblivious of the dry conditions. One tree with prominent brown leaves above will totally shed them to maintain life. Horticultural crops like bananas and coconuts near the foreground are drought tolerant and withstand long dry seasons, however their production is totally affected. Their leaves decrease in size and fruiting is minimized.

I have been observing this tree every year, and it seems really deciduous, as this is a regular annual habit of this tree in response to loss of water. They still produce fruits even without leaves, those small round knots are the fruits. Come rainy season and it starts to shoot again. This is also typical of our 'siniguelas' or Spanish plums (Spondias purpurea), which develop flowers and fruits even without leaves. Leaves just sprout when fruits are already maturing. However, i don't have its picture now. The two photos below are from Market Manila (

Sineguelas on the top left still immature, while on the top right are mid-ripe and ready to eat.

These grasses are already mature and ready to disperse with the wind.

The same is true with this grass species, the cottony parts are provisions that seed propagules will be carried by the wind to long distances, hence nature is preserved and species is ensured of continuity.

Weeds like this on the left can tolerate the drought because of their small leaves and deep roots. Turnera sp at the right is also drought tolerant due to its deep roots. However, come noon they somehow roll their leaves to resist more water loss.

Clear skies definitely give full hot sun, compel most living things to stay in the shade. Even butterflies are very seldom seen during this season, because their larvae do not have much fresh shoots to eat. I wonder at which part of their life cycle they tend to linger.

But long dry season is not all that depressing. It also gives a lot of promises. Most people go out with their families or with their friends to travel and enjoy the beaches. This morning moon is one of the good things very visible during the dry season.

....and sunrises are mostly clear and beautiful without the clouds hiding the rising sun. And definitely it promises big hopes!


  1. I love these scenes of your landscape. So pretty.

  2. Poor plants. Thanks for sharing. I didn't relate dry season with Winter till you show their similarities here. We have very hot and dry weather these days. I can see my plants suffering.

    Thank you for your votes. Onenezz's positions are rising. Blogger of the Year at 34 and Top LOL at 16.

  3. Fascinating to learn so much about your part of the everyone adapts...I would like a couple weeks of dry season here...our temperate climate is too rainy right now...

  4. I wish I could send you some of our rain. We have rain almost every day, and the cold temperature delays the blooming of trees and flowers

  5. This has been an erratic dry season in our area, as compared to the bone dry situation last year. It hasn't been a comletely dry season but the dry days are really hot.

    Two days ago it rained hard during the evening and yesterday it was drizzling most of the day. I guess this is due to La Nina.

    Your links to the siniguelas are broken though, maybe someone ate them already :)

  6. The dry season in the Philippines seems to get intense every year. Poor plants and crops. But when the wet season comes....

  7. So your dry season is like winter here when all the plants go dormant--very interesting. Loved the photos. Carolyn

  8. This was a great post about the dry season. I found it interesting that you likened winter to your dry season. I learned something today - thanks!

  9. love the captures.

    it doesn't rain in california, so even tho we have very mild summer around these parts, norcal, we have brown landscape in the summer time.

  10. i meant it doesn't rain in the summertime.

  11. Your photo of the sunrise is amazing! I like your comparison of your dry season to our winter. That makes a lot of sense. Perhaps the dry season is necessary to give plants a rest, as our winter does. Great post!

  12. The banana is indigeneous to our part of the world and they really can survive, no matter what the season. Your sunrise photo is really very beauttiful!

  13. Hmm. I don't think I've had sineguelas this summer yet. I prefer the ripe reddish ones. I was surprised that in Iloilo they only sell the partially ripened green ones. The vendor was also so surprised that I asked for the reddish ones instead of the green ones that she gave me 3 kilos of red for the price of 1 kilo.

  14. Were you able to take a picture of the fruit of this deciduous tree? I'm just curious.:)


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