So, as promised, here is the first set of photos showcasing some of the lovely wildflowers found in the desert. Using some field guides available here at the public library branch, I've identified them by their common name where possible.
There is a misconception (aka a "negative stereotype") by many people who live on the east coast that the desert is a dry, desolate place where nothing grows except maybe tumbleweed and a few scattered cacti, and is teeming with rattlesnakes and scorpions. Let these images put that ignorance to rest!
Large areas are carpeted with bright Mexican poppies in this area at the base of a slope in Saguaro National Park west. Typical Sonoran desert vegetation is seen in the background: saguaro cacti; paloverde tree, creosote (aka greasewood) bush, and various cholla.
Poppies in detail
A cluster of Mexican poppies is shown, along with a few yellow Bladderpods.
Another, unfortunate, name for this lovely member of the lily family is "bluedicks". I prefer wild hyacinth myself.
Poppies and Cholla
Another patch of the colorful poppies surrounding some cholla cacti in Saguaro National Park. Poppies close at night and do not open until the sun is well up in the sky; this makes for difficulty obtaining superb photos because of the lighting issue.
These flowers are frequently found in groups alongside Mojave lupine.
This particular image was taken in Ironwood National Monument, west of Saguaro Nat. Park.