Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Colorful Desert

Yesterday we hiked the desert around Phoenix and were struck by its overall green appearance.

Our views took in large sections the desert at a time. Today and tomorrow we want to take a look at small, colorful sections of the desert.

On rare occasions, we came across larger patches of flowers, but more often the discovery was of a single flower or small splash of color as we hiked at a very slow pace.

The winter rains in Arizona are responsible for the profusions of greens, yellows, oranges, blues, lavenders, and whites of the flowers of the desert.

From the comments of my (Chuck's) relatives, this spring should be especially colorful because of the plentiful rain.

The web pages for the parks and the travel section of the newspaper have seemed very enthusiastic in their reports about the "schedules" for the wildflowers appearances at parks, botanical gardens, and neighborhoods in the Greater Phoenix area.

We did some hiking at the Cave Creek Regional Park on the northern edge of Phoenix, although because some of the flowers were tiny or hidden behind other desert plants, our hike was more like a leisurely walk with frequent stops when we spotted the flowers shown here.

(If you would like to see these photos enlarged, just double click on the picture.)

I would like to be able to identify all the flowers, e.g., I believe this is a Brittlebush, but at this time, I would prefer to just focus on the colors of these desert wildflowers.

Even though the breezes were slight, it is difficult to time pushing the shutter with the brief periods of calm.

My expectation of a walk in the desert meant hiking on sand with a few saguaro cacti around the pathways and tumbleweeds rolling on by.

So, finding the green and the wildflowers in a desert were just another part of our education during our travels.

We continue our hike and discovery of the wildflowers of the desert in our entry tomorrow.

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