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Bartlett Lake is located in the Tonto National Forest north of Scottsdale. Personally, I always get a kick out of calling areas of the Arizona Sonora desert a forest but I do believe the Sanora desert is as rich in its diversity of plants as any forest. Anyway, Bartlett Lake it is really a little east and north from Cave Creek, AZ
Bartlett Lake is one of the Arizona Wildflower hot spots and can be relied upon year after year to produce good wildflowers. There must be a microclimate from the lake that helps generate the rich verdant cornucopia of wildflowers consisting of yellow brittlebush, red chuparosa, Coultrer’s lupine, Mexican gold poppy, scorpion weed, mixed among the saguaro, cholla, barrel and prickly pear cactuses. The hillsides northwest of the saddle typically have the best variety between the road to the Marina and the FR42 trail
It’s the end of March the weather had been particularly cool and wet in February through March which helped produced the wonderful bloom of wildflowers in this image. Staying in Scottsdale, we drove to Bartlett lake in the early afternoon to allow plenty of time to figure out where I wanted to be to catch the warm rays of the setting sum. The west side of the road is West to South facing and is quite hilly, ranging from 650 ft at the base to a little of 950 at the top so one definitely needs their boots. After scrambling up and down the hills shooting the various scenes, I settled on this image, which was taken using my Canon TSE 45mm lens. I employed the technique of taking multiple images, moving the lens from its left horizontal position to its right most position while keeping the camera steady on the tripod. The image here is a panorama stitch from several images. Just love the rich layers of colors against the blue sky.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor