A Lovely Day For A Hike

And it was made even better with the beautiful wildflowers that can be found everywhere now in the park.

We are starting to get a lot of calls, when we work in the Visitor Center at McDowell Mountain Regional Park, asking us if the wildflowers are blooming within the park. With the recent rains, we thought we would have a spectacular wildflower season, but then we were hit with eight inches of snow on the desert floor throughout the park, and our fear was that the wildflowers might not survive that degree of cold. So today, Bill and I took a lovely hike out on the Granite, Bluff, and Stoneman Wash trails in search of wildflowers in bloom. I posted a few pictures in my last blog post showing some wildflowers that were scattered here and there around our campsite, but today, we wanted to see for ourselves, if there were plenty of wildflowers to be seen throughout the park so we can make the right recommendations to visitors that want to know what trails they can hike to find the most wildflowers.

We started out on the Granite trail and immediately began to see Mexican poppies in bloom.

As we made our way out along the Bluff trail, of course there are always plenty of the mighty Saguaro cactus, and Palo Verde trees to see. Sadly, we lost a lot of Palo Verde tress, and several Saguaro’s, when we had the snow in the park.

The further we went along the trails, and into Stoneman Wash, the more wildflowers we saw,

as well as trees that look to be dead at first glance, but as you get closer, you can see signs of new growth within it. Like this interesting tree, that creates an arch over the trail, within the Stoneman Wash.

The desert floor is lush with colors of green and purple,

as well as the brilliant reds and golds from the poppies that we found in large patches along our hike today, but I don’t think they are as abundant as they will be over the next week or so…

Even the cactus are showing pretty little buds, with the promise of future blooms.

It was a fun-filled way to spend the morning, and we enjoyed exploring the trails in search of wildflowers. Now we can give our visitors several options of trails to hike when they are looking to see some wildflowers over the next few weeks.

Stay Tuned!

 

 

 

Signs Of Spring

At McDowell Mountain Regional Park.

Two weeks ago, I posted about a very unusual event that happened here in McDowell Mountain Regional Park, six to eight inches of snow! I’ve lived in Arizona since 1952, and I’ve never seen anything, but a light dusting of snow on the ground, here in the Valley of the Sun. Since I’m not a fan of cold weather, which is why I live in the Valley of the SUN…, I for sure, am not a fan of six to eight inches of snow on the desert floor where I live… But, apparently, many folks love, love, love the snow, and folks came from all around to see the snow in McDowell Mountain Park, thus proving that beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder… 🙂

The only bright spot I found during the two days of snow in the park, was this pretty red Cardinal sitting in one of the trees that fell to the ground due to the weight of the snow.

But today, all that happened two weeks ago, is just a distant memory. Today, I found lots of signs of spring all over our beautiful Park. Purple Desert Lupine Wildflowers are in bloom all over the park,

as well as splashes of yellow from many different kinds of plants,

But the real eye catcher for me, is the Mexican Gold Poppies. They are a real show stopper in my opinion.

These desert poppies, create a stark contrast between the harsh, dry, sometimes dead, desert environment, offering a glimpse of hope for continued new growth and beauty.

Even the desert wild grasses offer a hint of colorful hues.

So given the choice, I will always choose this version of the Arizona desert, with the beautiful poppies, and other wild flowers, over snow any day.

Stay Tuned!

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