Sunday, March 28, 2010

Arizona Desert in Bloom

Snow's cool. In December, January and February, snow's cool. By March, I'm struggling. You can hear it in my blog entries. You can see it in the images. Time for a break.

Photographer Jack Dykinga once told me to come to the desert in El Nino years, to see the wildflowers in bloom. 2010 seemed the perfect opportunity. So we made our travel arrangements, hoping to hit peak bloom sometime during our time in Arizona. We planned a route from Phoenix & Tucson east to the New Mexico border, then North up through mountain passes on the Coronado Trail, through the Grand Canyon and back to Phoenix.

Serious wildflower fans should watch the wildflower reports at DesertUSA and make last-minute travel arrangements. Since the real purpose of this trip was to get out of New England in March, we decided to take our chances with the wildflowers and plan an itinerary with lots of diversity. It was a good plan, and we got to preview most of the state and mark our favorite places "for next time".

Wildflowers? Yes, we found them where the reports said they were. We also found them lining the roadside, carpeting the hills, and crowding little gullies on sunny slopes. They don't get a long time to bloom, so they do it fast, and all at once. It's an amazing display of color, and so welcome in March.

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