Hesperaloe bloom. Photo by Colleen Miniuk-Sperry

Paul and I spent the past two weekends at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum teaching our annual “Wild about Wildflowers…and Macro Photography” workshops. A huge THANKS to all who attended and treated us to so much beauty through their own lenses. Lots of good laughs too!

At the arboretum, the Demonstration Garden has the best set of blooms so far, as the perennials like penstemon, coral aloe, Godding verbena, mescal bean (which you have to smell…smells like grape soda!), and a variety of barrel cactus are starting to show their beautiful colors. The Cactus Garden is also coming along, but will display a stronger cactus bloom in the next few weeks. There, we spotted desert marigolds, spiderwort, and even a couple of Mexican gold poppies, lupine, and globemallow.

It’s no surprise that we’re seeing a lack of annuals based on the lack of rain we’ve had this winter. Perennials, however, are showing how they are less affected by low precipitation and will likely continue to bloom over the next several weeks. Places like Boyce Thompson Arboretum, Desert Botanical Gardens, Tohono Chul, and Tucson Botanical Gardens will offer plenty of wildflower photography opportunities as spring turns into summer in the desert.

Near Gonsalez Pass to the west of Boyce Thompson Arboretum, the ocotillo are greening up, and small splashes of color from fairy duster, lupine, and brittlebush dot the desert landscape. Silly Mountain looks brown and burned out–not sure if even the normally reliable brittlebush bloom will happen here this year…

While Paul and I have been busy teaching, we’ve heard rumors of roadside flowers along Highway 60 south of Wickenburg and brittlebush off of Highway 17 north of Anthem. Also, there are reports of several locations in Tucson in bloom per this recently published article: http://tucson.com/thisistucson/5best/tucson-is-blooming-insta-worthy-spots-to-stop-and-smell/article_76700fd0-3132-11e8-b19c-9bd1681345bf.html.

Let us know what you’ve seen out in your wildflower explorations!

Ahead of the Rest

Are you WILD about wildflowers? Who wants to join the “poppy-razzi?”

The Arizona desert hasn’t seen much rain this winter to trigger a spectacular spring bloom. But, this is the perfect time to dust off your camera and macro lens and get ready for a more impressive bloom in the future. Besides, there will still be flowers to photograph…if you know where to look…

Join “Wild in Arizona: Photographing Arizona’s Wildflowers” authors/photographers Paul Gill and Colleen Miniuk-Sperry at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum (where the staff consistently water their plants…) on our fabulous “Wild About Wildflowers…and Macro Photography” workshop to polish up your flower and macro skills at the beginning of the spring season. We’re SO wild about wildflowers, we have not one but TWO two-day sessions planned: March 17-18, 2018 (sold out) and March 24-25, 2018 (9 spaces left).

Over these two jam-packed days, you’ll benefit from hearing approaches and ideas from two different successful photography instructors to help you refine your own style. You’ll not only have the opportunity to hone new skills out in a safe and supportive learning environment, but you will also create meaningful macro photographs to be proud of. Fun guaranteed!

If learning, playing, laughing, and photographing wildflowers is your thang, you won’t want to miss this outing! Come join the “poppy-razzi!”  For more information and registration visit http://cms-photo.com/Workshops/2018Wildflowers.

We hope to see you there!

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