Southwest Poppies

The Arizona monsoon season can be violent, destructive and frightening. But the humungous thunderheads that push miles-high and wide walls of dust before them as they barrel across the Valley of the Sun bring much needed rain.

In their wake the flash flood waters soak into the baked earth with amazing and awe-inspiring results. The desert plants have adapted themselves to long dry spells and wait for the monsoon rains to burst into deeply-colored gem-toned blossoms.

One such plant is the Poppy. With large, brilliant orange blossoms composed of 4 to 5 broad petals, I am reminded of Dorothy’s field of poppies in The Wizard of Oz. Such saturated colors seem to be a characteristic of the Southwest in response to the harsh climate.

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