paulgill

Fall color in Arizona is dropping off the Mogollon Rim and heading towards the deserts at this time. Without rain this fall season, the color was spotty in most areas up north but did go off as expected on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon the first week of October. Peak color came to the White Mountains and San Francisco Peaks the week after. The upper elevations of the Mogollon Rim is past along as are likely Mt. Lemmon and Mt. Graham. Color in the maples have shifted out of Oak Creek, although you can still see some lingering reds.

Time for the cottonwoods to start showing their yellow coats in the Upper Verde River, then the maples should start showing their reds in the lower elevations in canyons in southern Arizona (like the Huachuchas).

Stay tuned for more reports in the weeks to come!

Thistle

Arizona wildflowers are moving into the high desert as the cactus and tree bloom starts in the lower deserts.

Great locations to shoot right now:

#42 Forest Service Road 419: Peak for sego lilies and owl clover.  Strawberry hedgehog cactus and globemallow should peak in the next week.

#43 Black Mesa: Banana yucca, blackfoot daisies and thistle looking good now.

#50 Pinal Parkway and #52 Ironwood Forest National Monument:  Good buckhorn cholla and palo verde bloom starting.

Enjoy and have a great shoot out there everyone.

Sego Lilies

#14 Oatman: Just past bloom but ready for brittlebush and beavertail cactus next few weeks.

#15 Tres Alamos: I have not seen it but reports of Joshua trees blooming.

#17 The Gibraltar Mountain: Area is peaking now. Best in the past 15 years!

#20 Lake Pleasant Regional Park:  A once a decade bloom is underway.

#21 White Tank Mountain Regional Park: Getting ready for the brittlebush bloom.

#25 Bartlett Lake: At peak Mexican gold poppy bloom now and is the best showing in a decade. Lupine are a foot tall on the high slopes and lots of other wildflowers to fill in the open spaces. That’s not even the good news! Bartlett is 1-2 weeks away from an epic brittlebush bloom. If we get rain we could see a 1998 double bloom the hillsides will be covered in gold and yellow with some red chuparosa. Try Horseshoe Lake if you want to miss the crowds. The hillsides on the west side of the road are looking good.

#45 The Rolls: Bloom is good but the area has been invaded by ORV’s who have cut down the protective fences.

#59 Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument: Good brittlebush bloom starting.

In other areas not listed in our Wild in Arizona guidebook, there are good orange globemallow carpets west of Gila Bend along the river.  Also, just received a “getting close to dune blooms” report on Mohawk dunes.

#48 – Peridot Mesa is looking good early and should have a nice showing in the next few weeks.
  
#53 – Catalina State Park is showing small patches of poppies along the road to the Equestrian Center and above the Southerland Wash.
#51 – Picacho Peak State Park: One of the more promising poppy bloom along the Barrett and Anza Loops. Flowers are small now but look to explode after this week.
#58 – Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum wildflower areas are just starting to show.
#50 – Pinal Parkway has ok roadside blooms but will be great year for cactus in a month.
#57 – Saguaro National Park is still a ways off but will have a good cactus and tree bloom this year.
#54 – Tohona Chul Park has some nice flowers and looks to get better in the coming weeks. 
#23 – Cabeza Prieta. has large amounts of Sahara Mustered covering the dunes but it is showing some wildflowers.
PAUL GILL: The Estrella Mountain Park is starting to show carpets of poppies high on the northern slopes of the Rainbow Valley Trail. Start at the Rodeo Arena Parking lot and hike west. The best wildflowers are located about a half to a mile in, with lupine and fiddleneck already at one foot tall! This area should be great in one to two weeks with the recent rains that will double the bloom stalks and give solid midday carpets of poppies. Also look for a brittlebush and strawberry hedgehog to begin blooming in three to four weeks.  All photographs on this post are from this week.
 
BRUCE TALBERT: The White Tank Mountain Regional Park (location #21 in the Wild in Arizona: Photographing Arizona’s Wildflowers guidebook) looked OK.  There were enough poppies blooming to keep your attention but little else.  There were a few lupines but sparse and small.  The best areas were the first 1/2 mile of Mesquite Trail west of Area 7, the west side of White Tank Mountain Road near Area 3, and the trails that lead west of Area 3.  The brittlebush showed small flower buds and looked healthy, but were not yet flowering.  They will likely present a better show here than the poppies.

Arizona has received the rains needed the past three months. As a result, the desert is green, and we are starting to see wildflowers sprout

The rains need to continue every few weeks or the sprouts will produce less bloom stalks. We do have a 40% chance of rain this week, and we all hope for more (so all together now, rain dance!). So our current prediction for the Sonoran Desert wildflowers is a normal spring bloom…

BUT! This rain pattern we’re currently seeing is similar what we saw 2010, when we saw a big lupine bloom (see photo below from Silver King Mine, location #36 in our Wild in Arizona: Photographing Arizona’s Wildflower guidebook). If we get a lot of rain in February, we could also get a owl clover carpet bloom like we had in 2005 in places like the Eagletail Mountains (location #18 in the book).

If we don’t see much rain this month, we still have the old faithful poppy fields like we have seen in the last few years at Peridot Mesa (location #48). A few poppies are already starting to show around Lake Pleasant Regional Park (#20), White Tank Mountain Regional Park (#21), and Lost Dutchman State Park (#31).

If you would like to start planning your wildflower outings in Arizona this spring, pick up a copy of our book to help get you in the right place at the right time: Wild in Arizona: Photographing Arizona’s Wildflower. Thanks for your support!

And keep an eye on our blog here.  We hope to have a field report up soon!

 

    

 

The Perrennials are on their last legs now in the deserts but still putting on a show in the higher deserts. Cactus blooms are going good and still some wildflowers in location 25. Also a nice banana yucca bloom around the 4 peaks. Locations 27 & 35 are the best bet for color now. Next week I will be covering the high deserts and will have a report later. Get out there and shoot now or wait till the Monsoon bloom.

 

After two months of no rain in the Arizona Desert. The Perennials like Brittlebush, Agave and Cactus blooms are now the dominant wildflowers. Most of the 13 Central Locations (pages 98-135) are showing good brittle bush blooms along with locations 57 & 58. If you truly would like to get the most variety of blooms go to locations: 27, 35, 54 & 55. they will have the best blooms for the next 2 weeks. 

 

Looking like the best poppy location is Peridot Mesa (Location 48 in the book). The upcoming rains may give this area a longer blooming period. Also poppy reports from locations 24 – 27 and location 45. Lake Mohave has a few patches on the beaches and dunes. Location 14 is not looking good but will have a Beavertail bloom in a few weeks. The Joshua Trees are at peak for location 15. Also Date Creek. Not much in #22 but will show a cactus bloom later this month. Also hearing and seeing images from locations 53-55.

Most Arizona canyons are past peak for fall color. Still some color in Arnett Canyon but the normal northern entrance is closed for highway construction so you will need to come in the East or West ends of the canyon. Some images from Aravaipa and Hell Hole Canyons last week. Still some color along the Colorado River from Lake Havasu to Yuma for the next few weeks. Wildflower update: We had great rains so far this year for the 2016 bloom then dried out for almost a month. This rain we had this week was needed and should help. The brittle bush is growing very well and should have a great showing next year. The cactus are all fat and look good. We should know how the wildflower bloom will look early next year so keep an eye on this blog and don’t forget the NEW, Wild in Arizona – Photographing Arizona’s Wildflowers makes a great Christmas gift. Happy Holidays everyone and heres to a great wildflower year in 2016.

East Aravaipa Canyon

Deer Creek

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