Just Wildflowers

Apache Plume.

Ninety-six desert blooms. This how many wildflowers, and blooming bushes, trees, and cactus I have photographed and identified the last couple of months in Arizona. (There are 30 or more we haven’t IDed yet and yes, there will be a Just Wildflowers 2.)

When I started out photographing wildflowers way back at Buenos Aires NWR in March, I wanted to capture a carpet of flowers like those pictures you see from Anza Borrego State Park every time there is a super bloom, fields of color blanketing the desert floor. It is pretty spectacular. But then one day I took a close up of just one flower and was amazed by its intricacy and design. The spectacle was actually in the details.

Some of these flowers are so incredibly small I would never know they were there if I didn’t see a little hint of color, kneel down, and look at them through my camera lens. And every day during our morning hike I find more. Sometimes it seems like we see something new every five minutes. And each time we turn to each other and ask, “Do we have this one yet?” We usually don’t.

I find so many flowers now, I have decided to give them their own post. So here is a break from the crazy stories, birds, reptiles, trees, and bugs (except for a few pollinators).

And remember next time you go flower hunting, forget about carpets of color and your wide-angle lens, bring your zoom lens, your binoculars, or just squat down with a magnifying glass so you don’t “miss the trees for the forest”.

* All pics are click to enlarge.

Agua Fria National Monument

Purple Olw’s-clover.

Common Stork’s-bill

Scarlet Beeblossom.

Meadow Flax.

Tomcat Clover.

Desert Mariposa Lily.

Common Fiddleneck.

Desert Globemallow.

Fatbud Prickly Poppy.

Fragrant Evening Primrose.

Balsam Ragwort.

Prescott Basin

Southwestern Mock Vervain.

Gordon’s Bladderpod.

Showy Phlox.

Prairie Groundsel.

Nuttall’s Larkspur.

Prescott National Forest East

Lyre-leaved Rock Cress.

Easter Daisy.

Wholeleaf Indian Paintbrush.

Pacific Pea.

Cold Desert Phlox.

Western Blue Flag (Iris).

Whitemargin Sandmat.

Showy Phlox.

Easter Daisy.

Arizona Mariposa Lily.

Rose-heath.

Fineleaf Woollywhite.

Douglas’ Catchfly.

Matte Saxifrage.

Cliffrose.

California Larkspur.


Do you have a favorite flower? Or a favorite flower name?

15 thoughts on “Just Wildflowers

  1. Meredith Parsons said:

    Just a gorgeous display! Made my morning just to scroll through them. I think coming upon a Mariposa lily while hiking is one of those “stop your heart” moments. Hope you are well and all going well. We head East on Wed.May 27, going way north to avoid crowds.
    Take care, 😘❤️ Meredith and Ed

    • Duwan said:

      I’m so glad I made your morning! Yes, Mariposa lilies are lovely – especially when you find just one in an unusual location.

      The crowds have been out in force in Sedona this weekend. Stay safe. Maybe we will see you in the East this fall!

  2. Those are wonderful. You’re right–up close, these flowers are not weeds to be ignored. My daughter did research on mustard in HS so we traipsed all over the place. From a distance, I saw the scrub and dry surroundings but up close, they were amazing.

    • An extra dose of flowers for Memorial Day! 🙂 Nice to see that you’ve been following Duwan and Greg’s blog too, Jacqui!

    • Duwan said:

      Thanks. I might have ignored many of these if I wasn’t on a flower quest these days. I looked up mustard and I think I might have photographed some recently!

  3. Jo said:

    My favorite is the Western Blue Flag!

    • Duwan said:

      I love the Western Blue Flag too! When I found that one it was all by itself. In another location we saw more getting ready to bloom but we had to head on before they budded.

  4. A spectacle of beauty and color! I love the iris! You’re lucky that Greg is into nature photography and spotting and determining flowers as well. Mark doesn’t even have the patience for me taking any photos, usually, let alone stop every few minutes. 🙁 When he goes on a hike, he wants to hike. As you know…

    • Duwan said:

      Yes, I remember hiking with Mark. Sometimes I feel like I’m on a “poking around” and not a hike – especially when I do a loop and I see the people going the opposite way as me and realize they have walked three quarters of a trail to my quarter.

      Greg is often times the flower spotter. Sometimes I think – don’t spot a new one, I just want to hike. He is surprised anyone thinks he is patient!

  5. Anya Warren said:

    I love your photos, and thank you for the ID’s. We miss you both in C-Town and we are all so appreciative of your generosity. Long Live Little’s !!!!

    P.S. You are inspiring Jimmy and I to eventually break free from the 9-5 and hit the road…maybe in 3-4 years.

    • Duwan said:

      Thanks Anya! We miss Cabbagetown too!

      We love inspiring people. We will be looking for you on the road in 3-4 years!

  6. robert said:

    Fabulous photos

    • Duwan said:

      Thanks so much, Robert!

  7. Helen Greenfield said:

    Just love all these pics they are truly amazing😊

    • Duwan said:

      Thank you so much Helen! I owe you a flower postcard!

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