Last updateFri, 02 Jan 2015 5pm

The four seasons at Lake Chapala

People who have spent a lifetime in the northland of dramatic seasonal changes need a bit of transitional space to recognize the changes that indicate the four seasons at Lake Chapala.

In spite of the hoots and derisive yelps I can imagine readers emitting, there really are four distinct seasons here – they are just more subtle than those north of the border.

Admittedly lakeside is devoid of hardwood forests that morph into a fall mosaic of gold, orange, red and bronze. Surprisingly there are other ways to achieve vistas of fall color. With the continuing rains, the wildflowers and blooming trees that normally bloom and fade between the September 16

Independence Day and mid-October are still flourishing with peak color along roadsides and on the mountain slopes.

Orange and yellow cosmos, small wild sunflowers, golden Santa Maria, yellow margaritas, and red trumpet flowers are still mixed with other wildflowers to make the hills and vales along the libramiento as bright as the sun.

With a forecast warning of temperatures below freezing in all of the continental United States, thankfully we’ll not find even the slightest hint of frost on the indigenous Mexican pumpkins. Still, with overnight temperatures dropping, some sunny mornings there’s a brisk edge to the air that is reminiscent of fall football weather.

Learning to recognize and appreciate the change of seasons at Lakeside may take time. It’s obvious that the returning flocks of snowbirds appreciate subtle seasonal changes over ice storms, blizzards and sub-zero temperatures.

Welcome back to all of our winter residents.