In the desert areas around Tucson proper, there is not an abundance of wildflowers blooming right now, so I decided to look for mountain wildflowers instead. This last Saturday, my dad and I explored some of the Bear Canyon picnic areas in the pine forests along the Catalina Highway in the Santa Catalina Mountains north of Tucson. Because I've never looked for mountain wildflowers in October, I wasn't sure what I'd find.
We walked up the sandy and rocky wash that passes through the Chihuahua Pine Picnic Area, and I was amazed at the glorious abundance of wildflowers in this shady mountain canyon.
There were numerous yellow and white daisies and brilliant red Hummingbird Trumpets (Epilobium canum) scattered along the wash.
Given all of the blooming Hummingbird Trumpets, I was not surprised to see several hummingbirds as well. The weather was poor that day with intermittent rain and the sound of thunder rumbling through the canyon, but the hummingbirds hadn't taken cover from the storm. Instead, the brave hummingbirds were still perched in prominent spots overlooking their flowering Hummingbird Trumpet bushes, prized nectar sources they have to vigilantly guard from other hummingbirds.
This mountain canyon is wonderful for wildflowers in October, and the wash is the best place to see most of them. There are three picnicking areas here, the Cypress, Middle Bear, and Chihuahua Pine Picnic Areas, and all are within walking distance along the wash. However, the Chihuahua Pine Picnic Area is definitely the best for autumn wildflowers right now.