Arizona Wildflowers in Superior, Boyce Thompson, and Oak Flats, March 3, 2017

Learn a lesson from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work, they do not spin. Yet I assure you, not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed like one of these. (Matt 6: 28-29).

Dave and I took a trip east towards the town of Superior in search of Arizona wildflowers. The abundant fall and winter rains have resulted in a great wildflower season in Arizona deserts. We decided to check it out before the summer heat puts an end to the wildflowers.

Up until this time, I’ve only tried to identify birds, butterflies, and dragonflies on my pictures. It’s time consuming to ID them, and those were enough for me. However, now I blame Dave for adding Arizona wildflowers to the list. I don’t know whether to thank him or curse him 🙂. I like taking photos of flowers (who doesn’t?), but I never tried to ID them because there are so many species, and many are similar and hard to distinguish. It just takes time. For now, to reduce the work, I will limit my flower IDs to Arizona wildflowers.

I avoided going through these photos for a long time. Partly because I was overwhelmed by the number of species to ID. Also, when I first went through the photos, I was disappointed. They just didn’t seem very good to me. The focus was off, sharpness wasn’t great, exposures were bad etc. I thought I might just trash them. I need to learn how to take pictures of these small flowers. After sitting on them a while I went through them again and decided that they weren’t as bad as I thought, though they surely could be better.

Dave made a really cool poster of the AZ wildflowers he has identified. It contains thumbnail photos of 88 different species. To ID the flowers in my photos, I used Dave’s poster where I could, and also double checked at a great AZ wildflower site here, and another here. I wasn’t able to ID some of the species we photographed at Boyce Thompson Arboretum (so I just labeled them as ‘Flower’). I’m assuming it’s because they aren’t Arizona native species. I’m sure I got some wrong, but did the best I could

We headed east on Highway 60 towards Superior, stopping along the way at various desert spots to see the wildflowers. We then went to Boyce Thompson Arboretum and did the complete hike on the main trail. After that we ate lunch at Casa Denogean. Then we went to Oak Flats campground. Oak Flats is a nice camping area with a creek and lots of birds. I’ve posted before on photographs from Oak Flats. There is some controversy with it now. The State of Arizona has swapped the land with a mining company, so Oak Flats will be closed, but Arizona got some nice areas in return. There were a lot of protesters at Oak Flats, camping and displaying signs to “Save Oak Flats”, and declaring the land sacred to Native Americans.

We explored a rough desert road for several miles, past Oak Flats.

As always, each photo caption states where it was taken. For shots along the freeway, I just used ‘Superior’.

I added keywords for Arizona Wildflowers. If you are interested, you can look in the Photo Browser tab (just below the banner on this web page), and go to Flowers -> Arizona Wildflowers to see all the species.

There are a lot of pictures because we saw a lot of flowers. And I’m still way behind Dave – there are 38 species in this post, and his poster has 88. But, who’s counting? 🙂

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  1. david
    Posted May 1, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    These look great! The lizard is a great capture. Some great detail on the smaller flowers too! The Deervech is beautiful. Makes me wish I would have gone with you! (oh… ya… I did!)

    • Joe
      Posted May 1, 2017 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      Thanks Dave. It was a fun trip. Thanks for the ‘cheat sheet’ to help me ID the flowers!

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