This afternoon, we sold the 1,000th copy of our book, “Wild in Arizona: Photographing Arizona’s Wildflowers, A Guide to When, Where, and How!”

To thank you and celebrate, we’re giving away 100 FREE copies of our eBook (the high resolution PDF version, a $12.95 value).  Just go to http://www.wildinarizona.com/order.html, click “Add to Cart” for Option #3, and enter the discount code WIA1000100 in the shopping cart.  Please feel free to share with friends and family…but get your copy first!

From the bottom of our hearts, Paul and I THANK YOU all for your awesome support!

Looking for something to do on Friday night?  Don’t miss these two upcoming Friday evening events to get “wild about wildflowers:”

  • Friday, March 23: Changing Hands (Tempe) at 7:00 pm, in partnership with the Arizona Wilderness Coalition, who will be sharing their efforts to protect wild & pristine Sonoran Desert lands (like the Eagletail Mountains area featured on the cover of our book).  Free and open to the public.  For more information, visit: www.changinghands.com/event/sperry-mar12.
  • Friday, March 30: The Well Red Coyote (Sedona) at 7:00 pm.  Presentation “Wild About Wildflowers: When, Where, and How to Photograph Arizona’s Blooms,” followed by book signing.  Free and open to the public.  For more information, visit: www.wellredcoyote.com/march-12-events.html.

At both events, copies of Wild in Arizona:  Photographing Arizona’s Wildflowers will be available for purchase and co-authors Colleen Miniuk-Sperry and Paul Gill will be on hand to sign books, share behind the scenes stories about the photos in the book, and chat about the 2012 spring bloom forecast.  Whether you already have picked up a copy of our new book or not, photographers, hikers, visual artists, friends, family….well, heck, everyone is welcome!  Paul and I hope to see you at one or both of these exciting outings!

Can’t make these upcoming events?  Bummer!  Autographed copies of our “Wild in Arizona:  Photographing Arizona’s Wildflowers, A Guide to When, Where, and How” book, eBook, and a discounted book/eBook package are available for purchase on our website:  www.wildinarizona.com.

The Apache Trail has roadside, poppy, lupine, creamcup, Rock Echeveria, penstemon, and brittle bush but no carpets of flowers. The strawberry hedgehog is starting. Tonto National Monument is poor for flowers but there are carpets of Goldfield flowers just past on the right FR 83 & J Bar road. they are burning off but with a rain this weekend may come back. Chances are if areas that were blooming like Silver King and Peridot get rain we could see a second bloom in a few weeks.

Rock Echeveria

Cream Cups

Roosevelt Lake, Gold field

Underneath the poppies at Peridot Mesa (Photograph by Paul Gill)

Despite a somewhat rainy November and December, the desert has been dry as a bone for the first three months of 2012.  Some areas, including Phoenix and its surroundings, have not seen a measurable drop of rain this year!

No doubt the lack of much needed precipitation has affected the annual bloom this season.  Though we saw an extremely early and rare poppy bloom near Superior and Globe, we’re seeing a low-to-nonexistent bloom in typically reliable spots.  Without new moisture in the near future, we could also see a low-to-non-existent perennial bloom as well – meaning the globemallow, brittlebush, and lupine might not show their beautiful colors well this year either.

So all together now, everybody do a rain dance!

Peridot Mesa shadows (Photography copyright Paul Gill)

Here’s what we’ve found in our most recent wanderings…

Current Hot Spots:

  • Peridot Mesa on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation is still miraculously showing smaller carpets of Mexican gold poppies on the inner basin and northern slopes, but the area is starting to seed out.  So stop reading this blog and go out there RIGHT NOW if you want to photograph this area this year!  It’s on its way down….don’t forget to pick up the required $10 permit from the Circle K in Globe before visiting Indian lands.
  • Boyce Thompson Arboretum has spotty poppies sprouting near the Cactus Garden and a broad mix of wildflowers in the Desert Garden in the Demonstration Garden.  Many cactus and succulents are just now starting to show some blooms.
  • Desert Botanical Garden has an abundance of Parry’s penstamon, brittlebush, lupine, blanketflower, and a few Texas Mountain Laurel trees – which smell like grape soda! – in bloom.  Did not see much in the way of cactus blooms yet, but it’s still early to see buds.

Peridot Mesa (Photograph copyright Paul Gill)

Showing, but Just “A’ight”:

  • Some blooms past the saddle on Happy Camp Road near Peachville Mountain area.
  • Gonzales Pass showing healthy Parry’s penstamon and desert globemallow
  • The white albino poppies were still showing along FR459 at Bartlett Lake this past Sunday, as were scattered chuparosa, brittlebush, lupine , scorpionweed, and owl clover; I could count the number of chia we saw on one hand.  Continue driving past the saddle and look for the dirt pullouts on the left side to find the limited set of flowers.  Be sure to pick up the Tonto Pass at the Ranger’s Station or Bartlett Lake Marina before parking along the road.

Not Happening:

  • The Mexican gold poppy show at Peachville Mountain and Silver King Mine Road is done on the east side.
  • The rangers at the Lost Dutchman State Park are reporting some spotty flowers along the Jacob’s Crosscut Trail. While I did not have the chance to hike that trail on Friday, the lower elevations close to the parking areas are barren of wildflowers, save for a few bunches of fiddleneck.

    Lupine and poppy buds (Photography copyright Paul Gill)

Rumor Has It…(We’ve not seen, only heard from others):

  • Catalina and Picacho Peak state parks are reportedly still showing Mexican gold poppies and an array of other flowers right now, thanks to a little bit of rain in the Tucson area in January.  Keep your eye on the Arizona State Parks Ranger Cam at azstateparks.com/rangercam/index.html for the most up-to-date sightings for these and other state parks.

Happy shooting,

~Paul and Colleen

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