paulgill

First Light Poppies

Arizona is in one of the best blooms in a decade. For those of you with our book here is a rundown of location number and the wildflower report:
1-13 Nothing
14 Modest blooms
15 unknown
16 Great Gold Cup bloom all the way up tho Bill Williams River WR
17 Roadside
18 Did not look good 3 weeks ago.
19 Carpets of Bladderpod and some Globemallow with some poppies
20 OK bloom
21 Best bloom in a Decade
22 Good bloom with poppies appearing in the north fork
23 Past w/weeds
24 Good
25 Coming back from the snow and showing great.
26 Unknown
27 always good they water
28 Big bladder pod bloom and good poppies even on Pima Canyon
29 Unknown but must be good
30 Big bladder pod bloom on south side and good bloom in park
31 Good wildflowers not sure we will see Brittlebush.
32 Drive by was ok
33 Unknown
34 Good bloom now
35 They water so should be good
36 Scouted 3 weeks ago lots of weeds but some good blooms
37-41 Nothing
42 should start showing if anyone would like to scout it for me
43 Unknown
44 is showing normal bloom
45 Poppies Now
46 Was blooming 3 weeks ago so should still look good
47 Nothing
48 Big bloom now and should last weeks.
49 Nothing
50 scouting this week but some good reports
51 Best bloom I have ever seen there. Good two weeks plus of different wildflowers
52 Unknown
53 was blooming 3 weeks ago.
54-55 Watered so should be good
56 some lower elevations are showing good color now
57 normal spring color
58 Watered
59 mixed reviews but some poppies showing
60 Nothing.
It is a very interesting year the Brittlebush started blooming last year and is now on its 2nd and 3rd set of blooms so they are looking tired but still could carpet. Poppies are all over the Central locations and should last a few more weeks if not longer with coming rains. March is the month get out there and get some of this we may not see it again for years.

In Arizona now “Winters Spring”. Super early for the Phacelias. They are already doing that now, then there will be more side-branches and flowers on those yet to come, and it seems like seed set and reproduction will be high. Very interesting! The desert is also covered with baby Brittlebush more than I have ever seen. If we get 1/2-1″ of rain next 2 months spread out and no hard freeze then I am now predicting a banner Phacelias and Brittlebush year soon. Also spotted blooming fiddlenack and lupin. NO Poppies

 

I wish I had better news but the rains came a little to late this year still some roadside brittle bush between Yuma and Tucson with some small displays in Organ Pipe Cactus National Park and Tucson’s Pima Canyon. Also poppies at 10% and probably at peak bloom for Catalina State Park. Creosote and other bushes are showing but small. The ocotillo is budding and should show in a few weeks. I did find one pincushion bloom in the Sonoran Desert National Monument. Beavertail cactus are starting to show near the Colorado River. Desert Botanical Gardens and Boyce Thompson Arboretum are both showing some color. We should have an OK cactus and tree bloom in the deserts in a month.

We still have a few spaces left in our “Wild About Wildflowers” photography workshop on March 24-25 at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum. Come polish your skills and learn some new tips and tricks for flower and macro photography! Learn more and register at http://cms-photo.com/Workshops/2018Wildflowers.

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.

 

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