Saturday, April 24, 2010

More Hikes

While waiting for Ron's finger to heal (more on that in the next post,) we had a couple more outings to see the desert in bloom.

One day we checked out McDowell Mountain Regional Park which is about 15 miles directly north of Mesa, but, because of a lack of bridges, it's about twice as far by road. Although the hiking trails would not be particularly interesting during most of the year, in the spring they turn into 'yellow brick roads.'

The majority of color was courtesy of the brittlebush which looks dead most of the year.

The creosote added to the profusion of yellow - such a happy color.

The wild heliotrope added some contrasting blue.

Most of the hike was along a ridge with nice 360 degree views.

Another day we went to Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park, luckily not one of the Arizona state parks that are scheduled to close. The park has a forest of giant Red Gum Eucalyptus trees.

This was labeled as an Arizona Hedgehog, although I was convinced it was a claret cup.

These yucca were looking fine.

And here's one of the reasons why Ron and I are sneezing - Sweet Acacia.

They have an interesting way to keep visitors on the path.

We were too early to see this century plant in bloom.

They do a good job showcasing the native plants.

Look how the spots on this guy help with his camouflage.

I don't think this is a native desert plant, but look how gorgeous this gazania is.


  1. Beautiful photos of your hike in the desert - I have a claret cup cactus blooming in my backyard! Hope Ron's finger is improving...

  2. barbara, your photos are stunning! i've been following you for months now but only on a handheld gadget that i use while hubby watches tv. forgot that i had you here, on my desktop :) you live such a beautiful life, i'll be back soon to see what new things you've been up to!
    happy sunday to you!

  3. Great job on the spring blooms of the desert -- at McDowell.

    Parked a few miles east of you at Apache Junction for a few days. Would be great to visit in person.

  4. Wow! Beautiful shots! I think its definitely worth staying around for, even without the finger problem. Still no saguaro blooms???

  5. What fantastic photos. At least we did see the brittlebush bloom on the Brittlebush Trail! I would enjoy spending more time at Boyce Arboretum. Sure hope Ron's thumb is on the mend!!

  6. What beatiful colourful flowers and certainly worth while visiting that area. The rattle snake sign would put me off a bit though.

  7. What beautiful pictures! Isn't Boyce Thompson wonderful? Our allergies have improved greatly since leaving Arizona. Hope Ron's finger is healed so you can get out of there soon.

  8. Wonderful photos! Especially the last doesn't look real. ;)

  9. SUPER Photos of the desert in bloom!! ITs fantastic...and I agree with you--that sign would keep me on the