Colleen and I just returned to Arizona last week. Our “last day drive” into our winter home roughly follows the Gila river across the San Carlos Apache reservation. On the drive last Friday we were both struck by the brilliant colors of the trees, especially the cottonwoods, along the course of the Gila.
As luck would have it, on Monday the hiking group decided to hike a segment of the Arizona trail near Kelvin, Arizona, which also follows the Gila river. I’ve hiked this route a couple of times before, and being a rather relaxed trail without a lot of elevation gain, it was an ideal “first hike of the season” to condition my legs a little.
Blessed with a broken cloudy sky, the lighting was diffuse and flattered the golds and yellows of the fall foliage. Here are a handful of fall color scenes along the hike.
The last shot (below) is something of a mystery. This solitary staghorn cholla plant was showing not fall color, but the brilliant blooms normally seen in April! Also I saw a few globe mallow plants in bloom, again a flower we generally don’t see until March or April. Non-conformists!