Nurturing monsoon rains and a moderate, mile-high climate have brought late-summer wildflowers and lush greenery to the Madera Canyon area south of Tucson.
Stretches of the road from the community of Continental into the canyon are “absolutely gorgeous with carpets of yellow flowers,” said Larry Boehms, hike master with the Green Valley Hiking Club.
“Up in the canyon, it’s very green and the wildflowers were pretty prolific there, too,” said Boehms, who traveled the road and hiked in the canyon Thursday.
Streams in the canyon bottom weren’t showing much flow, but Boehms and his fellow hikers came across a small waterfall along their route above the canyon.
Elsewhere in Madera, which is about 40 miles from Tucson, bird-watchers are spotting colorful, hovering hummingbirds. Other avian species in the canyon include acorn woodpeckers, painted redstarts and elegant trogons.
Cottonwoods, sycamores and other trees still hold their summer green and offer shade for hikers and picnickers along the main watercourse.
Patte Bowers Lazarus, who visited the canyon this week, summed it up succinctly: “’Tis beautiful, isn’t it?”