Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Colorful April

Buckeye, Arizona.

This week, Amy asks us to show off our April colors in a challenge she calls, “Colorful April.” She writes, “We invite you to join us and share your photos of colorful April in your local park, garden, neighborhood, or your own backyard.” You can read her entire challenge post here.

So, at first, I thought it was an amazing coincidence, this topic and the weekly photo topic I chose in advance for my daily photos on my Facebook page and Twitter feed. My theme, chosen last week is #DesertSpringtime. Monday’s scheduled post, titled “Yellowbell” came from one of the shrubs in my backyard in Buckeye.  I could simply have posted all of my daily photos from this week’s series here, but this challenge is a good place to also share some of the images from my second Spring each year.

I call my springtime in North Dakota our second Spring because the season comes early in Arizona and we don’t head north again until the wildflower season is over. Springtime in North Dakota, however, is quite late, so when we return there, it is often not yet Spring (except on the calendar). On the Canadian border near the North Dakota town of Dunseith, the International Peace Garden comes to life as groundskeepers ready the gardens for visitors. The image above was captured later in the year as those beautiful gardens are a three-season delight.

One of my favorite desert flowers is the pink hedgehog blossom, a beautiful pink blossom stuck on top of an unattractive cactus. This hedgehog compliments the brittlebush, both finding life on a small amount of soil in the crevices of an outcropping of rock.

I believe this flower from the North Dakota State University Research Gardens to be Bracteantha Viscosa, but the signage in the garden isn’t always placed exactly where it is totally sure what flowers are being referenced.

Yet another ugly cactus, the Buckhorn Cholla, produces some beautiful and delicate yellow to red flowers. On our most recent hike, (April 7, 2021), the buckhorns along our trail were just beginning to bud, providing blossoms April through May. This image was captured in Spring, 2020.

I conclude this post with a view of crabapples in bloom. This image was captured in Albuquerque, New Mexico on April 10, 2018. We were heading back to North Dakota and couldn’t resist capturing the beautiful trees in my sister’s backyard. As always, I recommend selecting the images to get a closer view of these Flowers of Spring.

Thanks again to Amy for making this week’s challenge post so easy for me. I had half the “work” done before I even knew what the challenge topic was going to be. >grin<

Six days a week, I post a photo of the day on my Facebook and Twitter photo pages. You can follow me on my Facebook page here. If you hang around on Twitter, my handle there is @photobyjohnbo, the link is here.

John Steiner



  1. You are lucky to have two springs. Two springs, two autumns and a week of winter with only the first snow would make a good calendar. I also like your note of ugly cactus producing beautiful flowers, never despair.

  2. I was so inspired by cactus flowers back in Albuquerque, I once did a painting from the pictures I took. The desert can be very colorful and beautiful.

  3. How wonderful to have two springs, John! I love the coincidence, and thank you for putting your daily beautiful flower photos here for us to enjoy. The pink hedgehog blossoms are special, I have never seen it before. I love the crabapples blossoms.

  4. I hope the cacti did not hear you calling them “ugly” John! They’re just different LOL and quite beautiful when the light gives them that backlit glow. Beautiful, colorful blooms for your several worlds my friend. Especially loved your second image. and the yellow flowering cactus.

  5. Hi, John. I love that you can enjoy spring in two places. Your photos are marvelous, as always! I love your description of ugly cacti with beautiful flowers! I hope you’re enjoying the week.

  6. Such beautiful pictures from North Dakota, especially the various cactus flowers. Who would think an ‘ugly’ cactus would have such delicate, colorful flowers!

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