Thursday, 10 April 2014

My Wildflower Beats Your Wildflower by Mackenzie Crowne

When you live in the desert southwest, the whole April showers bringing May flowers concept doesn’t actually apply. That works for me. I grew up in New England, you see, where the month of April tantalized a frozen population with the promise of warming days and gentle rains that would eventually usher in spring flowers and sunshine. What a crock. Mostly, April in New England delivered a soggy, gloomy mess. I don’t do dark and dank well, which is the reason I settled in the Valley of the Sun as soon as I was able.

That’s not to say we never see rain in Phoenix. We do, but it’s rare and even rarer in the spring. So rare when a rainy day does come along, we desert rats stop what we’re doing and enjoy the show. Seriously, when a storm comes along in Phoenix, people come out of the woodwork simply to watch. Whenever it rains I see neighbors I haven't seen in months. It makes sense thought. Like all weather in the southwest, a rain event can be brutally spectacular with lightning shows and incredible rainbows. Of course, there are the dust storms associated with the monsoon season midsummer that bring us most of the eight inches of rain we see in an average year, but even those can be spectacular - in a dirty sort of way. Here, have a look at the wall of dust that ran us over a few years ago...

But I digress, we’re talking spring here. Despite the lack of rain, Mother Nature loves her spring colors and the hardy desert wildflowers, dormant throughout the rest of the year, stretch toward the sun to form a luxurious carpet of riotous color.

Come on. Have you ever seen anything like it? Contrasted against the harshness of the southwest landscape, with its sandstone and red rock, our wildflowers outshine any others…in my humble opinion. 


  1. Beautiful photos Mac. Just stunning!

  2. Thanks Ellen. I think the desert in the spring is about the most spectacular sight in the world. It speaks to my soul.

  3. Nice article about spring in the desert. Sometimes it's even startling to see all those beautiful colors against the desert backdrop.