Colors always seem to me so much richer and more vibrant in Mexico, and not in the least because of the abundance of colorful blossoms that thrive in its lush sub-tropics.  Mexico’s palette recalls a childhood in which every hue seemed deeper and more alive, and it makes of every day in Mexico wild and joyous riot of color.

Lake Chapala sits at about the same latitude as Havana, Cuba, but its mile-high altitude wrings the heat and humidity out of the sub-tropical air to make it hospitable to plenty of plants rarely or never seen on Mexico’s coastal Rivieras. The beautiful year-‘round weather here makes for a year-‘round growing season and the bougainvillea – ranging in color from deep raspberry to a delicate shrimp – seem ever present.  There are, though, colorful blooms that mark each season, and even if the rains in this part of the world arrive in summer rather than spring, primavera in Mexico has its own colors as surely as anywhere north of the border.

Light and color can make or break mood.  Just ask anyone who lives beneath Seattle’s cloud cover or has wintered in Anchorage!

Mexico’s’ sunlight is warm and intense and persevering.  Mexico’s colors are bright and deep and inviting.  The combination is upliftingly addictive.

In March the jacaranda trees are blooming in the village below and their blossoms form a delicate lavender cloud that hovers magically over the town.
Seen up close, the lavender cloud resolves itself into electric cobalt flowers against which even a deep blue sky pales.
As the blooms yield to fern-like leaves, fallen blossoms collect between the cobblestones and transform them into a cobalt carpet.


Mexicans call this tree with starkly dark branches hung with brilliant golden blossoms that look like Christmas tree ornaments the “arbol de primavera”… spring’s tree.  These remind of the brightly golden hardwood leaves of my childhood autumns.









This fanciful tree displays cotton-candy-colored blossoms clustered in powder-puff circles that look good enough to eat.


This tree stands like a piece of contemporary sculpture: musical note shadows strung upon power line shadow sheet music.
It’s striking when viewed from a few dozen feet away, but like the jacaranda blossom reveals its true artistry when seen up close.











Not all of the blossoms appear on flowering trees.  Many, like the bougainvillea, grow on vines and can be found in just about any color of the rainbow.















With the three-month rainy season yet three months away, cacti are readily found in the arid foothills, and the coral blossoms of the ocotillo are a striking contrast with its skeletal branches and emerald backdrop of surrounding cacti.

Flowers are often so colorful and perfectly formed that it’s hard to believe they’re natural.  This one is the real deal!
It’s hard to awaken to this open-air botanical garden in anything but the best of spirits, and it’s an aura that follows you everywhere along the Riberas throughout the day!