arizona wildflowers

Fiddleneck Bee | Photograph Story

Fiddleneck Bee | Photograph Story | Alaina Ann Photography This photograph is one of many preparing to retire from the Alaina Ann Photography gallery.

While on the hunt for wildflowers in Arizona, I came across a small area filled with fiddleneck. The bees LOVED this spot. And I, naturally, loved the little yellow flowers.

Carefully navigating my way through the blooms, I found a patch that missed out on the flower growth that spring. A perfect place for my little body to curl up and capture photographs :)

As the bees buzzed around, seeming to care very little that I was in the middle of the flowers, I snapped away. Hoping to capture a bee enjoying a tiny bloom, this little guy gave me what I was looking for.

I am pleased to say I survived the experience with no bee stings AND have a lovely memory of sitting in the flowers for a morning.

Lupine and Poppies | Photograph Story

Lupine and Poppies | Photograph Story | Alaina Ann Photography The moment I learned wildflowers would be blooming throughout Arizona, I stopped what I was doing and pulled up maps and blogs with blooming locations and flower types. I also purchased this book.

Lupine and poppies were blooming and as luck would have it, my weekend was wide open :) I drove north on the Pinal Pioneer Parkway, making turns here and there as I began to see the gold and purple goodness. Full details on my route are highlighted here.

Most of my exploring turned up small patches of flowers, making macro photographs my preferred focus for the day. I tip toed around the flowers for hours, making sure none fell beneath my hiking shoes. Using a telephoto lens was also helpful for keeping my distance from the delicate flowers, while still getting close up photographs.

I am slightly obsessed with flowers. I admit it. Spending a day driving through the desert landscape with the simple plan of finding wildflowers was simply wonderful. I was truly in my happy place!

Plus, purple is my favorite color. And there were plenty of purple flowers to enjoy!

Bartlett Lake | Travel

Bartlett Lake | Travel | Alaina Ann Photography While planning my second wildflower drive in Arizona last spring, I discovered Bartlett Lake. I read on several blogs the rare and lovely albino poppies appear around the lake. I was sold on making a trip to see if I could find them! And I did, with a huge smile on my face :)

The abundance of wildflowers changes each year. For an accurate and timely forecast, I recommend Wild in Arizona.

Bartlett Lake | Travel | Alaina Ann Photography

Recommended Hikes
  • Palo Verde Trail - a 7.4 mile, round-trip hike, offers lovely views of the lake and the mountainous desert landscape.
  • Jojoba Trail - this is a shorter hiking option at 2.6 miles, round-trip. This hike has constant dips and curves as you move up and down in elevation.

Bartlett Lake | Travel | Alaina Ann Photography

Other Activities
  • Boat Rentals - there are ample opportunities to explore the lake on a boat of your choice! Boat rentals include pontoons, skis, kayaks and paddle boards.
  • Bar and Grill - there is a bar and grill located at the lake, in case you wish to stay off the water or enjoy refreshments after a day exploring the lake.

Have you visited Bartlett Lake recently? If so, I would love to hear about your experience!

Arizona Sun | Photograph Story

Arizona Sun | Photograph Story | Alaina Ann Photography When I first moved to Arizona, people who lived elsewhere kept asking me if I was disappointed with my new "brown" location. There seems to be a common misconception that the desert is brown and ugly. If you have never been to the desert, and this is your expectation, you are in for a surprise!

Of course, there are times of the year when the desert seems more dry and lacks color compared to other times. For the most part, however, I never found myself missing color (maybe grass, but not color). Between the cactus, wildflowers, mountains, blue skies, dramatic sunsets and various plants in the desert, there was a surprising amount of color and green to be seen :)

The flowers were my favorite unexpected burst of color. Between the wildflowers and the cactus flowers, I was surrounded by some of the most beautiful, and colorful, flowers I have ever seen.

I happened to come across a small patch of wildflowers in Tucson with one Arizona sun beaming through the green, purple and yellow flowers. The Arizona sun is such a vibrant and eye-catching flower. The fact that it was standing alone in the crowd made it that much more colorful to me. I zoomed in enough to capture the detail of the Arizona sun, while leaving enough room to show the other colors around this lovely little flower.

I would love to stumble upon a large patch of them growing together one day :)

Recent Travels

Traveling, in my mind, is all about exploring and experiencing both new and familiar places. Today's post is a bit on the simple side, as I highlight a handful of travel (and exploring!) posts from the past. Arizona Wildflowers - a drive through central Arizona during peak wildflower season in 2013.

Recent Travels | Alaina Ann Photography

Chicago Bean - visiting the "Chicago Bean" for the first time, after many trips to the windy city.

Recent Travels | Alaina Ann Photography

Country Roads - driving a scenic route through Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.

Recent Travels | Alaina Ann Photography

Durango & Silverton Fall Photo Train - experiencing the peak fall foliage from the Durango & Silverton railroad!

480 and 482

Fall in Colorado - fall foliage in southwest Colorado during Septmeber 2012.

Aspen Ridge Horizontal

Next week I will highlight a new location with tips for your next visit! As always, if you have been to any of these lovely places, I would love to hear from you :)

Arizona Wildflowers

Arizona Wildflowers | Nature Photography | Alaina Ann Photography I am in love with Arizona wildflowers! They are bright, beautiful and contrast the desert landscape in the most breathtaking way.

On Saturday, I hopped in my car with my Wild in Arizona book and went for a drive toward Florence, Arizona. I had recently checked the Desert USA site and saw photographs and a note stating wildflowers were blooming along the Pinal Pioneer Parkway and the E Florence-Kelvin Highway.

Arizona Wildflowers | Nature Photography | Alaina Ann Photography

I was quite pleased with the scenic drive and ran into several patches of lupine, fiddleneck and Mexican gold poppies along the way! The dirt portion of the E Florence-Kelvin Highway is well maintained and I had no trouble traveling the route in my Jetta.

Arizona Wildflowers | Nature Photography | Alaina Ann Photography

I am hoping to make a trip to the Peridot Mesa this weekend. I hear there are fields of poppies... I can only begin to imagine how beautiful the views must be!

Arizona Wildflowers | Nature Photography | Alaina Ann Photography

The route I followed is mapped out below from the general Tucson area.

View Larger Map

If you are out and about searching for wildflowers, I would love to hear from you!

All Arizona wildflower photographs are available in my online gallery!