Spring in Bend Oregon – The Green Flash

Spring in Bend Oregon – The Green Flash

What’s Spring in Bend Oregon like? Well, it depends on who you ask and who’s asking.

I know we’ve written and photographed quite a bit about snow and winter and more snow in Bend these past few months. There’s the mini spring skiing post we did. There’s the “what’s winter in Bend like” post or the Central Oregon spring mountain biking post. There’s also the fact that the majority of our Instagram feed features shots of folks enjoying winter. What can I say, we love the cold white stuff. But of course, there is a different side to spring in Bend Oregon. Or rather many different sides. There’s the start of controlled burn season side, the onset of allergies side (endemic to almost anywhere), the snowstorm side, the increased # of bike commuters side, and so on. There’s also the familiar waft of grill smoke and short-shorts and green/growing side of spring in Bend. All of them with their own merits.

spring in bend grilling
Spring in Bend = cooking over fire.

The Green & The Bloom Of Spring In Bend Oregon

While the smell of grill smoke and the sight of short-shorts is pervasive during most versions of spring in most places throughout the U.S., the green side of spring in Bend is kind of special. You see, Bend is high desert country. And all the layers of green and blooming shit we get to experience during spring in Central Oregon, it doesn’t last forever. Things go from multihued and many-layered verdancy, with scattered morels and blossoms throughout, to… desert-style monochrome. Don’t get me wrong, the desert-y shades, the Juniper and the sage, are gorgeous in their own right. They’re just different than the bright spring preceding their eventual fifty shades of dry. 

spring in bend oregon
The fleeting green of a Central Oregon spring.

High & Dry: The Art Of Hydrating In Central Oregon’s High Desert

It would be an understatement to say it’s dry here. Even as someone who spends anywhere from one to many hours a day sweating over a top tube, I still haven’t learned the art of staying sufficiently hydrated in the Central Oregon high desert. No for real, I’m serious. It might be an acquired skill, but I think after having been here over seven years that it’s more likely something to be conscious of doing or not doing. No big mystery, just drink more than your body weight in water each day. And then some.

spring in bend oregon flowers
This is definitely spring in Bend Oregon.

I come from the east coast, where summers are the kind of humid that non-east coasters cannot comprehend. Back east, summers are a constant whir of air conditioners. Either that or you just swim through your days. Here, not so much.  And while I almost miss sweating through everything, including sleep and showers and clothes, it is kind of nice to get to hang out in like zero humidity here in Bend. Without the incessant aid of freon-pumping window units. So long as you’re fully stocked with moisturizer, lip balm, something to bedew your face and neck with, and water, you’re good. Some people love it, the dry heat. Others need a little time to adjust. Like I said, finding out about what spring in Bend is like all depends on who you ask and who’s asking.

central oregon spring river
Post-ride river dips are totes Central Oregon spring.

A Lot To Like About The Seasons & Central Oregon Spring

To be clear, I appreciate all the seasons. And I don’t think I’d want to live in a place where I didn’t have all four. There are these specific shifts that come with each season, and I know they are something I’d miss, however uncomfortable some of them might feel initially. I’ve had small conversations about this with a dear Japanese friend of mine, Daisuke, and he agrees, speaks about it more eloquently and succinctly even. The seasons, including spring in Bend or anywhere else, are a beautiful and necessary thing. They exist and persist despite our wants and desires. So maybe, how about just being in each season as it is, and as we are, whatever that looks like.  


Moving to Bend or not, I’d be remiss if I didn’t state the obvious: Not everyone gets to choose where they want to live. Not everyone is exposed to the notion of envisioning something other than the circumstances into which they were born.

spring snow in bend
Also part of spring in Bend.
spring at mt bachelor
Frost blossoms indeed.

However (& from wherever) I get to experience the shift of the earth’s seasons, the quick-green spring in Bend, its desiccated playground of summer, the stretched days of gold in fall, the white room of winter… if I’m allowed to move around coherently in this fucked up world for a little bit longer, I think I’ll take it.

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