Local expert explains El Paso’s natural beauty following the rain

El Paso News

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The Borderland’s desert landscape is lush with flora and fauna thriving from the recent rains after a long period of drought.

KTSM 9 News spoke with Kevin Floyd, Botanical Curator at UTEP’s Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Garden.

“Plants that have been basically living as seeds waiting for good conditions to grow. It’s a pretty common strategy, especially in deserts, where plants have to deal with droughts for an extended time period,” said Floyd.

Community members across the Borderland have been submitting their photos of hikes showcasing fields of yellow wildflowers and greenery blanketing the Franklin Mountains.

Floyd says he gives bird tours near Hueco Tanks and noticed that desert plants that are already adapted to the harsh conditions — like extreme heat — were struggling but are now refreshed.

“You really get to go back to Biology class and think about the food chain,” said Floyd, noting that the increased plant life is helping to bolster local ecosystems.

“People have been commenting on all the mosquitos, but the birds are able to feed on those, and so on, which supports all sorts of plants and wildlife,” he said.

The natural beauty of the region is an aesthetically pleasing phenomenon that is helping people take a break from the strain of COVID-19, political and natural disaster news.

“Just seeing these plants that have been waiting for these ideal conditions after such a bad drought, it’s nice to see things come alive,” said Floyd.

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