Crossing the curbed boundary between the two sides of Hackamore Acres, the diversity of plants and animals that occupy the parking lot are entirely different. Well, obviously. Except for a few token creosotes and triangle leaf bursages, all of the forty-one species that have been selected to live in the sea of asphalt are not found in the wild desert next door. Landscapers do a thorough job of weeding out the few introduced species that have established on the desert side. Even the birds are different. Over in the parking lot and on sidewalks, you're more likely to see house sparrows, pigeons and grackles. This is a distinctly urban ecology. But this is also a miracle! That anything can survive in this radically altered landscape is, in some ways, a testimony to the power and resilience of life.
I've come to appreciate both sides of Hackamore Acres. I admire the trees and shrubs that can survive (albeit with an IV of sorts, water and nutrients provided through a drip system) in the super-heated environment of the parking lot. Emu bush, rosemary, oleander and lantana are year-round sources of nectar, pollen, seeds and leaves for birds and insects to feed on. Willow acacia, if left untended for more than a few months, will sprout many seedlings. Surely they would form a forest in the future if we ceased pruning, weeding and hosing the gravel with herbicides.
I romanticize the wildness of creosote flats that smell so sweet after a rainstorm. Arizona poppies and spiderling that erupt from seemingly barren soils after a good monsoon rain remind me that no matter what abuses we torture the earth with, seeds blown in will restore the land in time. Life is patient.