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.
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 (http://www.marketmanila.com/archives/elis-sineguelas).
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.
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!