Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Unexpected

Waddell, Arizona.

Yes, that’s a field of roses… almost as far as the eye can see… In Arizona… In the Sonoran Desert. Who’da thunk?!? This week, Ann-Christine asks us to show the unexpected. What’s more unexpected than a field of roses in a desert? OK, maybe a lot of things. She writes in part, “Did something totally unexpected happen today? Did you meet someone unexpected at the grocery store, or did you find something in an unexpected place …or, maybe You are up to something unexpected?” You can read her entire challenge post here.

One day, I was traveling northbound on the brand new section of AZ-303, a bypass route that skirts the northwest section of the Phoenix metro. From the elevated road’s vantage point, I looked down at a large field of pink flowers. From the distance, I couldn’t be sure, nor could I believe what I would see when I got closer.

In the Valley of the Sun, the Sonoran Desert, a large section of land contained rose bushes as far as I could see. If you look down and to the left of the photo above, you’ll see a small channel of water. Irrigation to keep the roses alive, no doubt. I have no idea who owns the field, but my guess would be that this field helps stock Phoenix area florists with roses. It seems every year I discover something new about this remarkable desert, the wettest desert on earth where desert plants like the giant saguaro cactus can be found. Any other place on earth is too wet, too dry, too hot, or too cold to support that magnificent plant.

Both of these images were captured a few years back with my Nikon D7000 camera. In most browsers, you can click on either image to enlarge it for a better view.

John Steiner


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