Lost Dog Wash Trail: This trail, as well as other spots in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve takes the cake for peak Mexican gold poppy bloom right now. According to Paul, who visited yesterday, “It’s screaming out there now!” In addition to the pretty little yellow flowers, scorpionweed, lupine, and several cacti – including strawberry hedgehog and pincushion – are also showing their colors in this desert landscape. For maps and trail information visit www.scottsdaleaz.gov/Assets/Public+Website/preserve/TrailMaps.pdf
Bartlett Lake (location #26 in our “Wild in Arizona: Photographing Arizona’s Wildflowers” book): The impressive show here continues with fields of poppies across many of the hillsides into this area and along Service Road 459. Though the abundant poppies on the hillsides around the saddle have peaked, last Saturday, there were still buds waiting to bloom north of the saddle (though not nearly in the same quantity as we saw near the saddle). Typical for this location, a great mix of blooms are still going strong with cream cups, lupine, chia, chuparosa, and desert marigold being most abundant right now. The brittlebush and globemallow are either budding or starting to show splashes of color. Watch for the perennials to peak in 7-10 days here.
Lake Pleasant Regional Park (location #21): Though the annual bloom of the Mexican gold poppy is in decline after a glorious show, plenty of flowers along the trail make a trip to the Pipeline Canyon Trail still worth the visit. The perennial bloom of desert globemallow and brittlebush has picked up since last week, but could use a little more time to peak.
Boyce Thompson Arboretum (location #37): The Desert Garden in the Demonstration Garden filled with penstemon, lupine, coral aloe, and an array of other blooms. A walk down the Main Trail from the Visitor Center to the Cactus and Succulent Garden won’t disappoint, as there are Texas mountain laurels, penstemon, some Mexican gold poppies, scorpionweed, and even some early blooming claret cup cactus.
Silly Mountain (location #32): Speeding by this location at 55 mph along Highway 60, the brittlebush high on the hillside appeared past peak, while the middle section looked at peak, and the flat bottom areas hadn’t even started blooming yet. Despite the strange (silly?), tiered bloom, plenty of excellent photo ops still exist!