The fall and winter rains have a direct impact on our desert flowers in the spring. We had rain in the fall, and more rain this past winter. The result is a very colorful desert. It’s been years since we’ve seen this level of lushness and color.
We’ve been in the desert with the cameras more than usual. We can’t get enough. And now the Cacti are starting to bloom. I am fascinated by the contrast of vibrant, delicate flowers amidst thorny spines. One challenge with the Cacti flowers, are that many bloom during the day when the light is the harshest. In
the early morning or late afternoon, when the light is the sweetest, the cactus blooms are often found all closed up.
This year we took our very small reflectors (12 inch diameter gold) into the field to enhance the sunlight that is reflected on the flowers. Using the gold side, we tried to warm up our Cactus Flowers. Notice the gold tones on the side of the Chain Cholla flower (left) that are added with the use of the reflector.
Usually, the Strawberry Hedgehogs are the first to boom with vibrant magenta flowers.
In Scottsdale we see these start to appear in the mid to end of March.
Soon after we often see the beautiful Claret-Cup Cactus blooms that range in color from rich reds to red-orange.
The Strawberry Hedgehogs blooms are followed by the Prickly Pear Cactus blooms that can be found with with flowers in pinks, yellows and oranges.
About the same time the prickly pears go into bloom, so do the chain Chollas and Ocotillos.
At the end of April or early May, the stately Saguaro’s bloom. The Saguaro is the Arizona state flower. Most Saguaros don’t even have buds yet, but we were fortunate to catch one that started early.
Yes, the spring is a time of discovery. Stay tuned for more spring blooms, scenery and critters. Who knows what we’ll see in the desert tomorrow.