Issue 2, Spring 2003

Awash in Color...

Since leaving New England this past fall to move to Phoenix, I have been looking for ways to feel connected to home in this arid part of the world, where summer is perpetual and people smirk when I wear my Red Sox cap. I finally found a bond when I discovered that springtime in the desert is very much like the leaf-peeper season of New England's autumn.

Maple trees set New England hills afire. Photo courtesy of Clean Air-Cool Planet. Back east, brilliant oranges, reds, and yellows burst forth from our maple trees in October, spattering our hills and sprinkling community streets with vivid hues.

Arizona offers a different medley of color, but people flock from all over the West with the same tourist frenzy as the leaf-peepers, gazing at carpets of blooming desert growth in March, April, and May.


Lupine and owl clover. Photo by Mark Miller.Public lands, including wilderness, play an important role in protecting desert wildflower habitat, which ranges from the heat of the Central Mountains/Sonoran region to the verdant meadows of northern Arizona. Wed like to share our favorite wildflower destinations with our members and readers. The links below will provide you with maps and driving directions, hiking options, and local services. Enjoy!

•  Ironwood Forest National Monument and the Sonoran Desert National Monument, both not far southeast of Phoenix.

•  Saguaro National Park, just outside of Tucson.

•  The Crater Range, north of Ajo and west of Highway 85.

•  Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, south of Ajo on Highway 85.

•  Agua Fria National Monument, off of Highway 17, between Phoenix and Prescott.

The editor was born in New Hampshire, grew up in Massachusetts, and went to school in Vermont. She currently lives in Phoenix.