Butt Mountain Life In A Steppe Climate

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If you were to sit in my living room and look out the picture window, you would see an enormous mountain that is about one-half mile from my front door. I have named it “Butt-mountain” for the butt-like rock formation that sits on its top. Butt-mountain, you would no doubt observe, is covered with yellowish, hay-like vegetation with a sparse sprinkling of small green shrubs. It is stark. It makes one wonder what sort of toxic waste disaster took place to make Butt-mountain look so, well, dead.

Further observation would reveal that farmers send their cattle up there to graze, which leaves you wondering what they find to eat up there.

Butt-mountain is not alone.

All of Guanajuato is pretty much like Butt-mountain: dry, shrubs everywhere, cactus, and yellowish hay-like grass. The reason for this is that the town to which my wife and I moved from Kansas City (the land of hideous weather) resides in what is sometimes referred to as a “Steppe Climate”.

A Steppe Climate is one in which evaporation exceeds precipitation. Note that this is a generalization because technically the entire state of Guanajuato has three types of climates: semi-dry, temperate, and semi-warm.

The city of Guanajuato is located right along the dividing line between the “temperate semi-humid” and the “semi-warm, sub-humid” regions. So we get a little of both of the two sub-climates. Thus, we get dry, shrubs, cactus, and yellowish, hay-like grass in our little neck of the Mexican woods.

This is essentially a mountain-like desert without the blowing sand. In addition, we do have the rainy season that transforms the topography into a luscious carpet of greenery so that those poor cattle on my Butt-mountain can have something real to eat. The state does have some regions of temperate climate.

“In general this climate is intermediate in terms of temperature (mesothermal). The plant types which commonly grow in it are oak forests, oak-pine forests, pine forests, chaparral and grazing land. It appears in six variants, covering 20% of the total area and unevenly distributed. The least humid climate is found chiefly in the southeast, in the municipalities of Apaseo, Jer


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