April splendor in the desert

Today’s travel took me to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) area north of Vulture Mine Peak.  Great area that calls out to Jeeps, and ATVs. Chia, Poppies, Owl’s Clover, and Desert Pincushion were scatted all over the desert floor.  A little overcast made for some great photos.  The desert is extremely green from all the recent rain.  Hard to believe that in just a couple of months this beauty will fade away, the heat of the summer will dry everything up, but the seeds of these flowers will return next year. Going out to the desert today was very therapeutic to me, it was the 40th Anniversary of losing my Mother.  This is my safe place, a place where I feel a connection to the earth.  (Photos taken April 01, 2017)

DESERT MARIGOLD (Baileya multiradiata)

  • Longest-blooming and most common wildflower in Arizona
  • Poisonous to sheep and goats
  • Member of the Aster Family

DESERT GLOBE MALLOW (Sphaeralcea ambigua)

  • Bighorn sheep eat the leaves
  • Found in two-thirds of Arizona
  • Flowers can be red, lavender, white, or pale pink

DESERT PINCUSHION (Chaenactis stevioides)

  • Also, known as Morning Bride
  • White to pinkish white flower head
  • Arizona native

CHIA (Salvia columbariae)

  • Member of the Mint Family
  • American Indians use to cultivate this plant, ate the nutritious nut-flavored seeds, and drank a minty beverage of ground seeds mixed with water
  • Found below 3,500 feet

BRITTLEBUSH (Encelia farinose)

  • The sap in the stems was burned as incense by early missionaries
  • Blooms November through May
  • Daisy-like yellow flower

OWL’S CLOVER (Castilleja exserta)

  • The seeds are stored and harvested by ants
  • Member of the Snapdragon Family
  • Very common in the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

COVES CASSIA (Senna covesii)

  • Also, called “Rattlebox” for the dry rattling sound the woody seedpods make when shaken
  • Seri Indians of Mexico used the root medicinally
  • Blooms April through October, especially after warm rains

CALIFORNIA POPPY (Eschscholzia californica)

  • Blooms remain open only in full sunlight, closing at night and when cloudy
  • Found throughout Arizona, except the northeastern part of the state
  • Fern-like leaf

To get there from Phoenix: From the North: Take US 60 past Wickenburg and make a left on Vulture Mine Road, drive 3.3 miles and make a left unto Vulture Peak Road (Dirt).  Signs displaying State Land Trust either side of the road, permit required for that area. Travel about 1.1 miles then veer to the left you will now be on BLM 9052.  You will pass through Cemetery Wash. At 2.2 miles of dirt (since pavement) you will see the first BLM signs. 9052 which is to the right and 9060 which is to the left. Take any of those roads and you will find pure eye pleasure.  Best if you have four-wheel drive.  A great reason to buy a Jeep.  I love mine and have had it since August 2000.  Great place to eat while in Wickenburg – Anita’s Cocina, 57 N Valentine Street, Wickenburg, AZ  85390 http://anitascocina.com/  The food there is fabulous!

From the South: Take I-10 West, exit 103 – 339th Avenue, turn right; make a left on Indian School Road; make right on 355th Avenue (Please watch out for cattle, it is open range.  Cows tend to gather in the middle of the road to discuss cow business. Be careful!); travel 15.7 miles to South Vulture Mine Road and make right; travel 14.8 miles to Vulture Peak Road and make right (dirt road).  Signs displaying State Land Trust wither side of the road, permit required for that area. Travel about 1.1 miles then veer to the left you will now be on BLM 9052.  You will pass through Cemetery Wash. At 2.2 miles of dirt (since pavement) you will see the first BLM signs. 9052 which is to the right and 9060 which is to the left.  ENJOY!!!

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Linda

Wild Flower Photographer

2 thoughts on “April splendor in the desert”

  1. Linda, your blog is wonderful! I look forward to your future blog posts! Beautiful photos Linda!

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