Sunday, March 4, 2012

High Desert

Durango is in the high desert. We average around 18 inches of rain in a year, and most of that is from snowfall. The snow doesn't stick around for too long if it is on a south facing slope, but the north faces can hold it for a good while and there can be a decent accumulation. This heavily affects the zones of plant life on all the areas around town. The areas that are facing south are dominated by the pinon-juniper forests, and the northern aspects are inhabited by more shrubby types of plants.  This leads to a great diversity of plant types.

This picture is an example of a north facing slope, just south of town. You can see how the areas that get consistent sunshine are more wide open, but the areas in the shadows have a thicker growth of plants. The water is held in the soil for a longer period of time in these spots and so more plants can get the water they need. Some of the land in this picture has been disturbed by construction and has yet to regrow it's population of plants.

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