We arrived in Phoenix, Arizona, just in time to watch the desert come alive. I don’t think there’s a better time to visit the Valley of the Sun, aka Phoenix, than in late winter, early spring when the desert is dressed in all her finery.
What I would refer to as spring around here, begins a little earlier in the desert southwest than in other parts of the country. Having lived in places like northern Illinois and southern Colorado, I would never refer to February as spring, but around the Phoenix valley, signs of spring are visible everywhere by mid February.
Trails and roads are usually lined with clusters of yellow flowers, courtesy of the brittlebush.
Flowers equal spring in my book and thus the season for blooms…. blooms of all shapes, sizes, and colors. While I hit the hiking trails, I allow my eyes to look and discover the finer details of the blooming desert…. the little things. I’m rarely disappointed.
Amongst the sharp cactus thorns grow delicate flowers. The variety of foliage is an interesting collaboration of opposites; small, fine, delicate plants grow in harmony with large, hearty, thorned cacti.
Not wanting to be outdone by the other plants, the cacti produce their own flowers providing a profusion of colorful blooms dotting the landscape.
As many times as I’ve witnessed the extraordinary beauty of the desert, her extremes continue to amaze me.
It’s not just the flora that’s intriguing…. it’s also the birds and animals that survive in this harsh land of extremes that are fascinating to observe. Watching the relationship between flora and fauna in the Sonoran Desert during the blooming season is like watching a fine ballet …. beauty and drama are in abundance.
The ocotillo cactus is one of my favorites. The leaves and flowers seem soft and delicate yet the thorns and sturdy bark make it one strong desert survivor. The ocotillo provides an excellent perch for birds and the orange flowers are very distinct.
I truly enjoy this time of year in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert. I’ll be spending the next six weeks immersing myself in her gorgeous and abundant flora. In closing, I leave you with a photo of a Fairy Duster.
BTW… most of the photos in this post were taken with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 12.1 MP Digital Camera with CMOS Sensor and 24x Optical Zoom – Black. Since it’s no longer in production, the price has been severely reduced. So much so, I bought a back-up 🙂