Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most

Poppies at Bartlett Lake, by Jan Williams

Ken Duquaine

The title of this article, while admittedly a favorite song of mine, is also an apt description of spring in Arizona. While in much of the country people look forward to spring bringing a welcome end to winter and a return to more tolerable temperatures, many Arizonans anticipate the arrival of spring as the season that often brings with it an abundance of wildflowers. Much depends on the winter weather that precedes each spring season, and while there are no guarantees, the Winter of 2022-23 has proven to be very promising.

The season for wildflowers often begins as early as January and early February in some nearby areas, including Estrella Mountain Regional Park in Goodyear and Picacho Peak State Park where visitors may be treated to a colorful medley of brittlebush, Mexican gold poppies, fiddlenecks, globemallows, rock daisies, and other perennials.

Some later seasonal entries include Lost Dutchman State Park where visitors may expect to find globemallows, brittlebush, chuparosa, and possibly poppies from late February through March. Bartlett Lake in March generally can be expected to have a fine display of lupines and poppies, especially along the road to Rattlesnake Cove. In late March, some of our Sun Lakes Camera Club (SLCC) photographers traveled to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument to take advantage of a much-anticipated bumper crop of lupines, chuparosa, ocotillos, fairy dusters, brittlebush, globemallows, and poppies.

If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to partake of this season’s offerings, it’s not too late. Catalina State Park on the north side of Tucson has had a very wet winter, bringing a lush garden to the saguaro-clad foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains where poppies, cream cups, lupines penstemon, and desert chicory may still be found in abundance, particularly on the Sutherland Trail. Another later season possibility is Peridot Mesa on the San Carlos Apache Reservation, east of Phoenix, where one may find blue dicks, lupines, desert chicory, and, with some luck, spectacular displays of poppies.

SLCC wraps up its 2022-23 regular season this month with a banquet to be held on April 20 in the Navajo Room of Sun Lakes Country Club. Our end-of-year competition is also held at this time. Entries in this final competition represent the best print and projected image photos that members in each of the three competition levels (A, B, and C) submitted to monthly competitions throughout the 2022-23 season.

The Sun Lakes Camera Club meets on the first and third Thursdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Navajo Room of the Sun Lakes Country Club, from October through April. For more information about the SLCC and its activities, contact SLCC President Samantha (Sam) Palmatier at 902-727-0334 or [email protected], or Past President Lynn Thompson at 480-734-0040 or [email protected], and visit our website, www.sunlakescameraclub.com.