Tucson, Arizona has been experiencing much warmer-than-normal temperatures lately (it hit a record high of 91 F on February 23, 2009), and it seems to have triggered an early spring. I, for one, am not ready. Thankfully, my friend Cheryl Malone has loaned me her Canon PowerShot SD1000 (Elph), so I can at least share a few images of the desert landscape that is coming alive now.
The brilliant vermillion globe mallow flowers, Sphaeralcea sp., are among the more spectacular blooms right now, but they are ahead of the solitary bees that pollinate them. Honeybees are already at work, though, such as this one on a blossom of creosote bush, Larrea tridentata. Other flowers clamoring for attention include Gordon's bladderpod, Lesquerella gordoni, a lovely member of the mustard family, and desert marigold, Baileya multiradiata. This is in a residential, mid-town neighborhood. There are a couple of vacant lots, but colorful blossoms can sprout from a mere crack in the curb.
I took these images on March 5 and 6, 2009, but I am a very amateur photographer. Much better photographs of Tucson wildflowers can be found at the Firefly Forest website, along with good information about each species. Here's hoping that spring is fast approaching wherever you live.