|Desert Marigold and Lupine, Beeline Highway Arizona
My theory is that nobody knows a precise definition for a superbloom. Wikipedia calls it “an unusually high proportion of wildflowers … which germinate and blossom at roughly the same time. The phenomenon is associated with an unusually wet rainy season.” Vague.
Maybe this is a superbloom
year, but even without the label, things are extraordinary out there. I’ve been putting on a lot of miles enjoying and
photographing the flowers, even though I should be studying for my FAA
Commercial Drone Pilot exam (more on that in another post.)
|Early Spring, Lake Pleasant Arizona
There were some brittlebush blooming at Lake Pleasant Regional Park early in March, but that was about it. Sometimes showing up doesn’t yield what I’m hoping for.
|Poppies and ocotillo skeleton, near Lake Pleasant Arizona
Across the road, next to a shooting range (that was an exercise in steadying my nerves), there was a lovely early field of Mexican Gold Poppies.
|Globe mallow from above, Salome Road Arizona
I’d been hearing such good
things about the flowers in a long-time favorite place, Organ Pipe Cactus
National Monument, that I spent a few nights in the campground and my camera
and I drove and hiked in all kinds of weather.
|Ajo Lily, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
I was thrilled to see the
showy Ajo Lily and counted 24 different varieties of flowering plants.
|Scorpionweed against a stormy background, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
There were also carpets of
scorpionweed, lupine, and poppy. I was
surprised that a spot where I’ve seen a profuse owl’s clover bloom was bare. I
showed up but they did not. These things
are just not predictable.
|Globe Mallow and sahuaro skeleton, Sonoran Desert National Monument Arizona
On the way home I camped a
night in blessed solitude in the Sonoran Desert National Monument, where Globe
Mallow was taking over the world. These
flowers can look a little scraggly in isolation, but I enjoy them in profusion.
|Poppy carpets in Southwestern Arizona
A favorite spot near home
was sporting huge fields of poppies this year as well, and I made a couple of
trips out there to shoot traditionally and with the drone.
The last stop (so far, at
least) was along the Bush Highway east of Phoenix. I was able to meet up with a friend and see
what all the hype was about. Good news
and bad; the flowers carpets near the highway were spectacular, but there were
easily 100 cars parked on that short stretch.
|Lupine, owl's clover, and poppies, sorta near Bush Highway, Arizona
We drove in, stopped to
photograph a cluster of Chuparosa bushes near Sahuaro Lake, and drove right
back out. We ended up shooting in some unlikely places including this
one, a wide spot in the median of the Beeline Highway.
|Poppies, sahuaro, and sky from the tall tripod (drone)
There was also
time for drone shots in a valley behind her house.