With the emerging of a new day or even a new season, there is a sense of hope and the embracing of dreams. I love spring. It’s my favorite time of year. Watching the dormant winter landscape awaken with the budding of emerging vegetation and colorful blooms lends itself to a feeling of new life.
I think we can all agree, it has been a challenging year. A year filled with uncertainty. A year filled with a roller coaster of emotions. And just like the tiny plant that has the strength to break through rock crevices and thrive, we too shall emerge from the past years’ challenges stronger and maybe even wiser.
Perhaps our socially distanced year has enlightened us in new ways. Perhaps, we have discovered new hobbies or developed a better understanding of ourselves. As we emerge from the stressful year, it’s time to think about our dreams. For me, that means I’m knee-deep in travel planning and excited to get our RV wheels rolling again soon.
I’m emerging from my cocoon with a new spring in my step and can’t wait to frolic in the beauty of nature!
I don’t know about you, but I love flowers. They bring a smile to my face, and have a way of brightening up my day.
I used to enjoy gardening when we lived in a sticks and bricks home, but living a nomadic life isn’t conducive to gardening. So to fulfill my passion for flowers, I enjoy visiting public gardens of all kinds as well as seek out fields of wildflowers in nature wherever I can.
Wandering Wednesday Photo inspiration
For this weeks photo inspiration, prompt, challenge, theme (still haven’t decided what to call this 🤣) …. let’s share images of flowers.
Wandering Wednesday ….
Next weeks photo theme is – Patriotic and the following Wednesday will be – Food. Start searching through your archives or get out there and shoot. Let’s share and connect!
The more time I spend in Arizona, the more I like it. It’s a fascinating state offering diversity and extremes. The landscape ranges from stunning red rock country to unique hills filled with cactus to dense forests of tall pine trees. In the morning, I can enjoy a cup of coffee in delightful 70 degree sunny weather in Phoenix and a couple of hours up the road I can go snow skiing in Flagstaff (that’s if I was into snow skiing).
This kind of diversity can catch visitors by surprise and quite often does. A few years ago, we visited the south rim of the Grand Canyon the first week of November. The north rim had already closed for the season. We were well prepared for whatever weather Mother Nature had in mind, and I was actually hoping for snow. By mid October, all the campgrounds located outside of the national park are usually closed for the season.
We set up camp at the only campground open year round offering hook ups; Trailer Village. With the overnight temps expected to dip into the twenties, we connected the electric only. The next morning as Al and I were ready to head on over to the rim for sightseeing, we chuckled as numerous RVer’s were struggling unsuccessfully with their water hose connections. Yeah folks, when the overnight low hits 20 degrees Fahrenheit, you can expect things like waterline’s to freeze up.
When we arrived at the visitor center, we glanced at a couple of tour buses that had just pulled up. The moment the tourists disembarked in their summer attire, they were assaulted by the winter weather. We noticed the shock, disbelief and discomfort on their faces. While Al and I stood there comfy in our winter garb, we wondered if anyone bothered enlightening these European tourists.
Several months ago, I made mention to a friend back in Illinois that Al and I decided to spend most of the year in the state of Arizona, including summer. My friend questioned our logic and wondered why we would stick around Arizona in 110 degree weather.
And just like those tourists at the Grand Canyon, my friend had no clue about the elevation changes in this state. Let’s face it, Illinois is pretty flat. You want colder weather, you drive north. You want warmer weather, you drive south. Easy peasy, huh! But it’s not so easy in the west. It’s all about elevation and has nothing to do with north or south.
A little over a week ago, the temps in Phoenix were nearing that three digit mark. That was our cue that it was time for us to head to the hills. Our one hour plus drive took us from Phoenix’s elevation of 1,100 feet to Prescott Valley’s 5,200 feet, and the temperature dropped more than twenty degrees…. brrrr. Al and I were cold. Had our time in the valley of the sun turned us into reptiles? Anything less than 70 degrees and we were donning sweatshirts!
Since we’ll be staying in Prescott Valley at least a couple of months, I decided to do a little homesteading and plant a garden.
I haven’t done any digging in the dirt since we went full-time in the RV four years ago. I purchased three planters, a bag of dirt, and a bunch of plants; parsley, rosemary, thyme, cilantro, chives, and tomatoes.
I think I’d be dating myself if I said I was humming a Simon and Garfunkel song while planting my garden ….
It felt wonderful to do a little gardening and even though I’ve never been the best gardener, I’ve always found the activity enjoyable. That said, Al and our two children have made bets on how long I’ll be able to keep these plants alive. Who needs fantasy football when you can bet on mom and her green thumb or lack thereof 😄
So our first week in Prescott was a busy and fun one which included a day trip to the Grand Canyon for a picnic lunch. Fun planting my little garden. Hiking at one of my favorite locations – Watson Lake. And trying to stay warm as a cold front accompanied by a record rainfall blew through the area.
I have a few more entertaining things planned for the month of May. Let’s hope Mother Nature is agreeable and she won’t make me bundle up …. even more!
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.
There’s nothing like being surrounded by agricultural fields and yet having every imaginable store available within a fifteen minute drive. Top it off with an abundance of awesome hiking trails in the surrounding area and I’d say we’ve stumbled upon the best of both worlds.
Within an easy ten minute drive from the RV Park, I have my choice of Safeway, Fry’s, or a super Wal-Mart to stock up on necessities. Along the way to the store, I pass cotton fields and rose fields. Yes, beautiful fields of roses in all colors as far as the eye can see.
I adore roses. About the only thing that might top this are fields of tulips. I’ve seen some stunning fields of tulips during Holland, Michigan’s Tulip Festival. I wouldn’t want to have to pick between tulips and roses…..yep, my two favorite flowers. Being the girly girl that I am, I love flowers and they always put a smile on my face.
As I drive to the grocery store bebopping to tunes on the radio, I take in the sight of acres of roses to my left, acres of roses to my right, Arizona Mountains in the background, sunny skies, a light breeze, and 70 degree temperatures. Any of life’s little problems that I may be dealing with at the time seem to fade, even if for just a bit.
The fields of rose plants will eventually be harvested, split, divided and sold to nurseries and retailers for consumers to purchase so they can add landscape beauty to their yards. At one time, the agricultural fields in the Phoenix area were abundant with citrus plants; oranges, lemons, limes. I’m not sure why the farmer’s have switched from citrus to cotton and roses, but the rumor is margins and ease of growth. Cotton and roses can also withstand a rare winter freeze much easier than the citrus. However, there are still plenty of citrus groves, they just happen to be located in other parts of the valley.
Although I may not have initially been too thrilled with this RV Park and its location, I’ve since discovered plenty of beauty and convenience. Yep, these roses sure can make a gal smile 🙂