Tag Archives: desert plants

The Palo Verde Tree in Spring Bloom – Excerpts from a Photo Shoot

Since spring is officially here, I thought it would be appropriate to share some shots from a photo shoot I did today. In the desert, spring is well known for the various cacti coming into bloom. It is beautiful to see these succulents produce flowers that seem contra to the starkness of the plant itself. Along with the cacti blooming, the native trees also come into their own, with a full display of flowers covering the branches. One of the more popular trees is the Palo Verde. The trees are native to this region and naturally grow along the many “washes” that cross the desert landscape (washes are dry creek beds that fill very quickly with water during the summer monsoon rains). The trees grow quickly, have a light fern type of leaf and are known for their green trunks and branches. Over the last week, they have turned yards, parkways, and desert washes into dramatic splashes of bright yellow. I realize it isn’t the same as flowering crabs or cherry blossoms and other flowering spring plants, but in the desert, you take what you can get.

I have attached five shots from today of the Palo Verde trees and then added at the end four shots of succulent blooms I came across as I was capturing Palo Verdes.


 

Spring bloom

Palo Verde Spring Bloom One

Spring bloom

Palo Verde Spring Bloom Two

Spring bloom

Palo Verde Spring Bloom Three

Spring bloom

Palo Verde Spring Bloom Four

Spring bloom

Palo Verde Spring Bloom Five


 

Succulents in bloom I came across today:

Ocotillo

Spring bloom

Ocotillo Bloom

Purple Paddle

Spring bloom

Purple Paddle

Red Yucca

Spring bloom

Red Yucca

Last, but not least, a native shrub the Yellow Bell

Spring bloom

Yellow Bell

Thoughts?


 

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Cactus Blooms – Excerpts From a Photo Shoot

It’s that time of year again, when the cactus are starting to bloom….I am re-posting this blog from two years ago as the vibrant purple blooms are back….

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A couple of weeks ago, I noticed driving into our community that the cactus planted in the common areas were starting to bloom. We are literally just a couple of blocks from open desert, so I thought it’s hiking time for a photo shoot to see what I can find. I have attached four of the shots from that expedition of the cactus I found in bloom. The color is incredible!

Cactus Bloom 1 Cactus Bloom 1

Cactus Bloom 2 Cactus Bloom 2

Cactus Bloom 3 Cactus Bloom 3

On Cactus Bloom 3 – notice the faint hint of a cobweb between two of the plants and then again in the lower left hand corner.

Cactus Bloom 4 Cactus Bloom 4

I’ll share some of my other finds from that hike in a later post. Thanks!

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Red Bird of Paradise – Excerpts from a Photo Shoot

Each week I share some shots from a photo shoot. Sometimes the shots are really good and sometimes not so good. I try to give you the good, bad and ugly from the shoot, because frankly when you shoot 30 –  40 pictures, all of them aren’t going to turn out stunning. This week’s share is the exception, I really had a hard time because all of the shots I did on this shoot came out beautiful. Really, Kirt…beautiful?? Yes, beautiful!! I did this shoot last year at this same time of year at my mother-in-law’s house. She was hosting us while we were house hunting in the Phoenix area.  I narrowed it down to five that I thought highlighted the beauty of this plant. The Red Bird of Paradise (that is the correct name for the red blooming plant, but most people around here call this the Mexican Bird of Paradise which is technically a yellow blooming plant slightly different…just a disclaimer) is  just coming into its own this time of year. Our spring blooms are gone and we are now in the trenches of summer in the desert. This is the time of year where we have temperatures just below 110 F every day with plenty of sunshine. While this begins to take its toll on a number of flowering plants, this species has spent all spring quickly growing into  bushes and are now starting to bloom (sensitive to frost and going dormant during the winter, they grow very quickly into 3 ft tall bushes packed with blooms).  Enjoy the beauty of the desert…..

Red Bird of Paradise 1

Red Bird of Paradise 1

To give you a perspective of the bush size…..and yes this shot could use some cropping, but the plant’s still beautiful 🙂

Red Bird of Paradise 2

Red Bird of Paradise 2

Red Bird of Paradise 3

Red Bird of Paradise 3

Red Bird of Paradise 4

Red Bird of Paradise 4

Red Bird of Paradise 5

Red Bird of Paradise 5

Beautiful plant isn’t it? Adds a strong touch of color to the desert landscaping. Thoughts?

 

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Cactus Blooms – Excerpts From a Photo Shoot

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed driving into our community that the cactus planted in the common areas were starting to bloom. We are literally just a couple of blocks from open desert, so I thought it’s hiking time for a photo shoot to see what I can find. I have attached four of the shots from that expedition of the cactus I found in bloom. The color is incredible!

Cactus Bloom 1

Cactus Bloom 1

Cactus Bloom 2

Cactus Bloom 2

Cactus Bloom 3

Cactus Bloom 3

On Cactus Bloom 3 – notice the faint hint of a cobweb between two of the plants and then again in the lower left hand corner.

Cactus Bloom 4

Cactus Bloom 4

I’ll share some of my other finds from that hike in a later post. Thanks!

Please visit my main gallery: TheWallGallery (All domestic orders over $60.00 – free shipping!)

Follow my work:

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“Desert Botanical Garden” Excerpts from a Photo Shoot

My wife and I went to the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix last week to check out the Chihuly  Exhibit. We have seen the Chihuly Exhibit at the Seattle Center, but wanted to see what his work would look like scattered amongst desert plantings. The first shot is in the garden giving you a feel for the surrounding environment. The garden is situated in such a way, you forget you are in a metropolitan area of over 4 million people.  Within the garden, I included two shots of Chihuly glass work amongst the desert flora and fauna. The contrast between his bright-colored displays and the plants were amazing. The displays are also lit up at night which we have seen pictures of and that creates an entirely different experience. The work is stunning both day and night. Enjoy!!

Desert Botanical Garden 1

Desert Botanical Garden 1

Desert Botanical Garden 2

Desert Botanical Garden 2

Desert Botanical Garden 3

Desert Botanical Garden 3

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“Desert Garden” Excerpts from a Photo Shoot

As a follow-up to my “A Walk in the Desert” two weeks ago, I have attached the final two shots I wanted to share from that hike.  The first one shows that plantings and a garden are possible even in a desert.  There is a lot of use of rock, stone and pots, but everything is lined up in a visually inviting way.  The trees provide the much-needed shade along the walkway and create an environment of tranquility. The second shot is a close up of the potted plants. The irrigation is provided internally through the posts and the pots. The plants are native to the desert and are naturally drought resistant.  I included these shots not only for the aesthetics of the garden, but to highlight with planning and thought, even a desert can have a garden type element to it. Enjoy!!
Desert Garden 2 Desert Garden