Friday, June 25, 2010

Quirks and Peculiarities of Tequisquiapan

Everyone must be tired of hearing about my problems. I know that I am. Tired of thinking and writing about them. Now that I've had a little more head space, I've been thinking of how peculiar the climate is here. I had read that the state of Queretaro lies in central Mexico and has nine (that would be 9!) distinct climate regions, ranging from semi-tropical with a rainy summer to semi-arid and very hot. All in a mountainous state that has an area of 4,544 square miles (11,768 That would be approximately half the size of New Hampshire in the  US. and it would fit into Nova Scotia (Canada) four and a half times.

While I can't vouch with certainty as to the climates of either New Hampshire or Nova Scotia, I do know for having traveled in both that they are mainly temperate, running to cold in the winter, warm in the summer with hot spells, and in either season with varying degrees of humidity depending on the region. Nothing arctic or tropical. It boggles the mind how this tiny area can have such a diversity of climates; but it must be remembered that most of it is high peaks, small valleys, and deep canyons. I suppose elevation plays a role in this.

On a more personal note, I'd been told that the hottest month is May. It was! I have a hard time wrapping my head around this, used as I am to summer being the hottest season. And I lived in Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta, Florida, the Bahamas, the foothills of the Rockies, the West Coast, Texas, etc. the list is too long. June is supposed to be the start of the rainy season. I was chatting with a cab driver the other day and he said that the rainy season this year might be on the dry side. So far, he's right on. Only three sizeable rainy half-days thus far. But the weather has changed. We're back to cool nights with a temp around 60 F. in the morning. Very comfy. The afternoons are a bit hotter but so far, not in the nineties as in May! Is it the elevation? Very peculiar for a Northerner. . .

Nearby San Juan del Rio lies at 6,299 feet (1,920 metres) of elevation. I suppose Tequis is close to that. Maguey (agave) used to be widely cultivated here because of the plant's need of a higher altitude for proper growth. Maguey is used in making alcoholic beverages like tequila, pulque, and mescal. The plant resembles aloe vera and has a bluish colour. It can grow to gigantic proportions. San Juan del Rio was (I'm not sure it still is) reputed for milpas growing maguey. I heard that my lot used to be part of such a milpa.

So do the cacti here grow as tall as trees. Here's one i003n the field  east of my lot. What a quirk it is that the soil is so rich that the area has been termed the bread basket of Queretaro, yet mesquite and cacti appear to be the most abundant! It is however, a rather dry climate.

Funny thing about adopting a new country. It takes some time to make it your own. Especially when everything is so far removed from one's native land. New and exciting, though! If familiarity breeds contempt as the saying goes, I do hope that I never take this magical place for granted. . .

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