Our camp is on a bluff overlooking a large flood plain of palo verde and mesquite.

P1100495View below our campsite near Roosevelt, Arizona

Our first dawn I hurry outside to greet the day.  

Standing near the edge of the bluff I silently watch as the first rays of sunlight creep across the treetops.

I have to voice my awe.


Then a funny, delightful thing happens! 

A bird far to the left, out of frame in the photo above, maybe a quarter of a mile away, calls out, “Wow!”  That is followed by the same kind of bird, far to the right, responding,”Wow!”

Then another and another, from different places below me!

A series of “wows!” rises up to our site on the bluff.

I call back with my own “Wow!”  Boy, this is going to be a great camp!

~ ~ ~

Several days have passed since that first dawn.

If you looked at the previous post or other blogs, you know the desert is blooming like crazy.  Every day more blossoms appear.  Please bear with me for posting more flower photos.

P1100691Although I write this blog to entertain and inform, I also write it as a record for myself.  I may never come this way again and I want to include the flowers in this journal of our travels.

In this photo you can see how the cactus fruit forms.

P1100704I’ve wanted to see spring in the desert for a long time. 

In previous springs, the warming of the desert had us fleeing northward like a lot of RVers do.  I did not want to encounter snakes awakening from their winter sleep.

P1100749After four winters and early springs in the desert, during which we’ve never encountered a rattlesnake, I’ve become more daring.

I’m very careful, but I’m not letting my snake phobia hold me back!

Take a look at the buds on this cactus . . . . exquisite!

P1100769I’m very glad we lingered in southeastern Arizona. 

Seeing the profusion of blooms this spring is a highlight of our full-time vagabonding!

P1100759And people say the desert is dull . . . .

Here’s a guy who doesn’t think so!

P1100689“Get away from that Reggie.  You’ll be stuck by the cholla if you keep poking around over there.”

One night a big storm rolls into our camp!

P1100640How exciting!  Wind, rain, thunder, lightning, even hail!

The cactus buds and blooms receive a pelting from the storm.

Most of them recover.  Many of the photos in this post were taken after the storm.

P1100765I hope you enjoy these flower photos.  It’s fun for me to take them and share them.  Well, most of the time.

Not when I’m pulling cactus spines out of my knee!

P1100779More action, less flowers, in the next post — I promise!





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191 Responses to “Wow!”

  1. Colleen from Alabama says:

    I am so jealous. Next year. LOVE the pic. Thank you.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, and CONGRATULATIONS, COLLEEN!

      Others can envy you for being first. 🙂

  2. Kim says:

    Hi Sue!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Second place! Yay for you, Kim!

      • Kim says:

        Hi Sue,
        Thanks for the photos. It was somewhat thrilling to be 2nd having been mainly a lurker and not a commenter for so long. I lived in Arizona (Tucson) when I was very young and I loved it there. Thanks for the beautiful photos.


  3. eliza says:

    Love these pictures, WOW!

  4. I had to say WOW myself! Such amazing beauty in the desert! It’s wonderful that you were able to be in the right place at the right time to photograph all these flowers. You did a beautiful job taking these photos. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Phiesty in Utah says:

    What a wonderful, colorful and peaceful way to start the day and enjoy the works of nature. I so appreciate your sharing of this. Enjoy your day wherever you are!

  6. Susie Rollyson says:

    Thanks so much for posting. I have always wanted to see these in bloom. Safe travels.

  7. Jane in Bremerton, WA says:

    Wow! I’ll join that chorus. Did you see which birds joined you in your amazement? At least with that type of storm you don’t get buried in dust.
    It looks like you have some bovine neighbors also, to give Reggie something to bark at?
    Have a wonderful day!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jane,

      No, I haven’t seen the birds that say wow. They call out from the trees below our camp. The birds around here are very wild. Even when I see birds, they seem to move constantly.

      Yes, Reggie has been on bovine patrol and he’s doing a great job. 🙂

  8. You have some really great photos there Sue. I too would love to see all the Spring blooms in Arizona sometime as well. Maybe next year we can throw an anchor out to slow us down from heading North too early. Keep up those great travels:))

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Al,

      I’m honored to see you here, and especially to receive a compliment on my photos from a photographer of your talent and expertise.

      If there’s any way you can meet the 6 month commitment for Canadian health insurance and still remain here long enough for the cactus blooms, I hope you do so one of these years.

  9. Gingerita says:

    I love your blog! I’ve been lurking and catching up and now I’m a blogerino! Just want to say I admire your out of the box thinking and the way you present the good, the bad and the ugly to keep us all informed. We have snow here and the desert pics you are posting are just what the doctor ordered. Keep em coming and happy travels!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Welcome, Gingerita! I’m delighted to have you join the ranks of blogorinos. Thank you for reading my blog and for the compliment on my thinking. Of course, even though I may include “the good, the bad and the ugly,” I don’t always include some of the dumb things I do. I have my pride. Haha!

      You say you “have snow here.” Please tack on your state abbreviation to your name when you comment…. See? I expect we will hear from you again! 🙂

      • Gingerita in NE Indiana ( for now) says:

        We don’t have a lot of snow, just a dusting, but it’s April and my pups and I are just plain done with winter lol

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Ah, NE Indiana…. I don’t think we have many blogorinos from there. Thanks for adding your location. It makes you seem more real, which is silly, I know.

          Yeah, I remember that “plain done with winter” feeling. It used to start in early Feb. with me in northern NY state. Spring will be precious for you!

  10. Jack says:

    Best blog yet!!!!! great flowers and less chin music. I know the area and its best presented ” in season.” Yippee!

  11. Deena in Peoria, AZ says:

    Beautiful! Love the play of light and cloud and color and plants in your last photo. Cacti are so pretty. Thanks for a lovely Sunday morning treat. Reggie is so intent and cute.

    Deena and Miss Mollie

  12. Dawn says:

    Absolutely gorgeous! Just breathtaking flowers photos. And that storm…the BLT looks so tiny 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Dawn,

      The BLT does look tiny! Look at the PTV. The distortion of the photo makes it look like she’s being hit broadside by the wind!

  13. Dave Stewart (in missouri for now) says:

    Keep up with the pictures, they will remind you of the beauty of the desert. this has been an above average year for rainfall on the desert. which creates a prettier floral display.
    Doesn’t always look this good.

    I for one love the display. and like the birds i can say WOW!
    Thanks for sharing Sue, and crew!

  14. Rhonda says:

    Sue, I am one of your fans who eagerly greets each new post from you. You are one of the first RV blogs I followed, and I wanted to say what an inspiration you have been to me. “I want to be like Sue when I grow up!” So I plunged in and have begun my own blog of my experiences on the road. I would be very honored if you had the time to meander over to MeTheToadAndTheRoad.com to see what you gave me in courage! It is still a work in progress, as I still haven’t figured out how to let people know if there has been a reply to their comment, where I am now, weather, etc. all of which grace your wonderful blog.

    Thanks again for sharing your zest for living.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I look forward to seeing your blog, Rhonda. I’ll have to do that later and get back with you. The crew has been very patient with me at this laptop this morning. I need to walk them before more rain. Looks like it’s headed this way! Bye for now… Talk to ya’ later!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Okay, I’m back.

      Thank you for all the nice things you wrote about my blog. Yours is off to a great start! You write very well, Rhonda.

      I see it is a wordpress blog. I can’t explain here how to add the items you mentioned. Do what I did. Do a search for wordpress widgets and several will come up. Or search for “weather widgets,” for example.

      When you visit those sites, you can download widgets which will include instructions how to install. Also you can go to the wordpress forum and search the forum for answers to your questions. Jetpack is a bundle of widgets you can download.

      I didn’t learn this stuff overnight. It takes time. In the meantime, your blog is in good shape, clean design, attractive… Best of luck to you in your travels and in blogging!

      • Rhonda says:

        Thanks for taking the time, Sue. I didn’t expect to get specific help from you–I guess I was just being a little apologetic about the all the great things that your site includes that mine doesn’t yet! I have spent the day looking for a plugin for users to subscribe to replies, and I think I found one that looks very similar, if not the same as the one you use. I’m currently waiting for a test post to show up in my other email address. I can say that it has really been a learning curve. WordPress advertises that you will be up and running in an hour. Yeah, right? 🙂 But at least I have a start!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Like I said… It takes time. Also patience. More than once I’ve wanted to throw my laptop out the window.

          • Barbara (Nashville) says:

            I liked your blog, Rhonda. I agree with Sue it is off to a good start. I will keep checking in, but I seldom comment in other blogs I read. It is not because I don’t want to, but I am caregiver to my DH, have a dog to walk, a work from home job, plus regular household chores & I just run out of time. Anyway I did enjoy what I read up until now.

  15. Audrey says:

    Love seeing the flowers in the dessert in bloom. Just beautiful!

  16. Pat H.....Newport, Oregon says:

    Great pics…..I had a home in Mesa with a yard full of cacti. It was beautiful in the spring.

    Enjoy the beauty of the desert!!!

    I love that area and the road out to Young, AZ. Camped out there many times.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pat,

      I’m curious about the camps on the road to Young. We manage to be here when it’s too cold up there or I have a reason to stay down below — like for the cactus blooms. Someday…..

  17. Carlene at NoCal says:

    I lived in the desert total of 9 years and you have captured it so beautifully. And desert spring storms are fun. How did Reggie do with thunder? Corky likes to chase it..
    Thanks for the great picture show.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Carlene,

      Reggie wasn’t too disturbed by the thunder, not like he reacts to gunshots. He did want to go inside though, which he did right after the photo in this post was taken. Bridget was already inside. She’s the smartest of the three of us.

  18. Kristi & Daisie (currently in Nampa, ID) says:

    Wow…you’ve outdone yourself on these photos. Truly a paradise in the desert, Sue. I don’t blame you for staying several days. I’d find it hard to leave until the blooms are gone.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kristi and Daisie,

      Thanks. I’m glad you like the photos. Yes, “paradise in the desert” and we have to leave it soon. Darn!

  19. Pamelab says:

    Hi, Sue –
    How fun to have birds talking back! What a surprise! Loved all the blooming cacti photos. The last photo with the sunrise on the mountains and the low clouds is really special. Beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing all that beauty.
    Happy trails and hugs to the pups.
    Pamelab on Houston

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Pamelab,

      The clouds on the mountains photo was taken the morning after a stormy night. At first that morning we were cloaked in a mist and the mountains weren’t visible. Then the sky cleared somewhat and the white clouds clung to the mountains for a short while. The desert is a fascinating place!

  20. You were part of the dawn chorus. Isn’t it great to hear the birds wake up? Beautiful photos of the flowers. I think this might be one of the best years for cacti blooms in a decade. Enjoy your stay.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you. You sound like another morning person, Lisa. I agree — To hear the awakening of birds starts a day off right!

  21. Norman in San Diego says:

    Hi Sue,

    Nice picture of the storm rolling in. It must be awesome to be in a travel trailer with the wind and rain.


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It is awesome, Norman! You touched on another thing that makes this way of life a rich experience. In my house I could shut the door and close up the windows and hardly be aware of the weather outside. In the Best Little Trailer, we’re a part of the storm. Every gust of wind is felt; the hailstones and raindrops fill our home with sound. As you say, it’s “awesome!”

      And it started to rain as I typed this. 🙂

  22. Cynthia blaylock says:


  23. Cynthia blaylock says:

    What a spaz I am. Couldn’t see all the previous comments on my phone.

  24. Shawna (Far Northern Cali) says:

    As far as I am concerned you can’t take too many flower photos. Sure enjoying your photos of this record cactus bloom. Enjoy!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Great to receive that positive feedback, Shawna, on this post with more flower pics. Thanks for letting me know you enjoy them!

  25. Calvin R (still in Ohio) says:

    I appreciate the desert in bloom, and I agree that the “superbloom” is rare. I’m glad you took the time to show us. I particularly liked the picture showing how cactus fruit forms. Of course, the “wow” was beautiful, and the two landscapes show why I enjoy the desert even when it’s not in blooms. Great post!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Calvin. You’re right. The desert is a wonder to enjoy … The blooms are a bonus. I’m glad you took the time to let me know you appreciate the post.

  26. I think the cactus blossoms have been more impressive this year, or maybe I’m paying more attention. I’ve seen a lot that are loaded down with buds and blossoms this year.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, John and BJ,

      From what I’ve read this is an “impressive” year for cactus blooms. Gosh, hundreds of buds on one plant! Usually I mention the ocotillo in bloom. The cacti are putting on such a show that I’ve left out that the ocotillo are flowering, too.

  27. Val R. Lakefield On. says:

    WOW, wow wow !! Just loved the desert flower pics…..what a thrill to hear the birds
    echoing your WOW.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Val . . . Those Wows! were quite a surprise. It was really funny to hear voices coming out of the trees down there…

  28. Ann from Texas says:

    Absolutely gorgeous! No need to apologize for those photos!!

  29. Pam and Maya, Still in NY says:

    Hi Sue and Crew! I never get tired of flower photos but I have to say that the last photo is stunning, the light on the hills and those low clouds hovering. I heard the Wow birds when I was staying at Roosevelt lake but am not sure which ones they were.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pam and Maya,

      You heard the wow birds, too? Ha! I have confirmation. I’m not making this stuff up!

      I’d love to know what birds they are. I hear them but never see them.

      Thanks for the compliment on the last photo.

  30. Judy in Horn Lake, Ms says:

    I have to say WOW! Love all the flowers blooming, so pretty! The picture of the approaching storm was awesome. Love storm clouds but they are scary too.
    My little dog hates storms and will run off if not careful with him, thankfully the big girl is not scared at all. Hope you can figure out the birds that sing wow back to you, I have never heard of that one. The wind is blowing so hard here today your storm must have come this way. ?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Judy,

      Funny thing… The rain stopped a few minutes ago. I go outside to take photos of the clouds on the mountains and notice birds circling above the flood plain… black birds and swallows of some sort. Then, sure enough, I hear “Wow!” from the trees below the bluff. Gave me a laugh after reading and writing about them here.

      Hang on! If the storm is like the one we had, it will pass over quickly.

  31. Betsy says:

    A resounding Wow! . . and that final photo just takes my breathe away, thank you for sharing your gifts and the beautiful gifts nature has given us all!

  32. Elaine Mari says:

    So beautiful to see this after your post about the demise of the flowers, then the campsite, and possibly the bees. This and your last post cheered me up. I just got back from my first road trip since last fall, to Apocynum campsite on the Nahatlatch River BC for 4 days, with stops in Boston Bar and Yale on the Gold Rush Trail. So beautiful in a different way, with snow capped mountains, rushing rapids, wild canyons and the great brown muddy mighty Fraser. The days were hot but refreshed with cool spring air near the water and cold nights. Such a contrast the desert flowers and storms. Your post was lovely to come back to. Thank you for your consistently thoughtful, beautiful posts.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Elaine Mari,

      You sound refreshed from your four day excursion! I don’t know anything about those places, other than what you wrote here. Your description is lovely. Thanks for that and for the compliment on my post.

  33. Pauline in Mississippi says:

    WOW is right!!! Stunning pictures. I can’t imagine what it was like to be out there with no one in sight, no traffic noises….just nature and then hear nature respond with WOW!!!!
    The storm picture is awesome also. We don’t mind you posting lots of beautiful picture…..we all enjoy them
    Love to you and the crew.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Love to you, too, Pauline, and to the rest of the family and also your crew…

      I wish you were here standing on this bluff with me, listening to the wows and watching the clouds float over the mountains. Thanks for writing. It keeps you close.

  34. Pam N. says:

    Beautiful scenery, thanks for sharing!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Pam N.

      I don’t know if you’re new or not. We have several Pams and Pamelas that comment. If you’re new, welcome!

      (Help us remember you by adding a state abbreviation after your name next time. Thanks!)

  35. Debra (CO) says:

    Hi Sue,
    I love your flower photos, please keep posting them! I’m so glad you are getting to see the desert in bloom. I have always wanted to see that also. Spring of 2018 should be my year 🙂 I also like the shot of your camp with the approaching storm very much. It really pulls the viewer into the scene and one can imagine the wind and the scent of the coming rain. I love that!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      And I love the way you reacted to the photos, Debra!

      Two more years for you to wait…. Yes, 2018 WILL be your year. 🙂

      • Debra (CO) says:

        Yes, I’m planning to go full time next summer and it’s all I can do to wait that long. So I will spend the winter in southern AZ and hope to be able to see the desert bloom in 2018.

    • Corkerinna620 (Mobile AL) says:

      I love that scent, too, Debra. I’m a 70-yr-old farm girl youngun’ originally from TX & just love the smell of freshly plowed earth or beginning rain storms. Sure miss the farm sometime.

  36. Elaine Mari says:

    sorry for the typos, need to be more careful :/

  37. Sue CleanerGreenerVegas says:

    Wow! Sue, these photos are extraordinary! I love your views, the blooming prickly pear cactus, and the stories of how to collect and cook them in the previous post. I am in Las Vegas area, and the bloom at Lake Meade was also fantastic this year. We camped there in March. Just want to say I really appreciate your site as a way to connect to nature. We are semi-stationary here as I work in Vegas at Opportunity Village, which serves 1300 adults with disabilities in the valley. I see too much city on my bus commute, but I long to see all the natural areas around me. One day we will retire and take this travel trailer home out there to the great beyond! Sue, I read all the posts and comments. Your blog with the input of your diverse group of blogerinos has really enriched my life. Blessings to all!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Sue,

      I appreciate the reminder that the blogorino community enriches lives. I know that they (you) enrich mine!

      How fortunate you are to have a travel trailer and a vision for your retirement. Too many folks see retirement as the same ol’ thing only not having to go to work.

      Thanks for the enthusiastic response to my photos.

      I always feel a twinge of sadness at the name, Lake Mead. I wish it were full up with water. Your mention of the blooms gives me a brighter view of that area. I love the drive from Las Vegas “bay” to Valley of Fire State Park.

  38. ValGal (westernWA) says:

    I absolutely love your desert flowers pics, Sue. Really stunning quality!

    I heard the desert flowers were super spectacular this year due to the added wetness. You picked the perfect year to linger.

    Wish I had the courage and energy to vagabond full time as you do.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, ValGal, for the compliment on the photos. I’m glad you enjoyed them.

      If full-time vagabonding is too much for you, maybe a few camping trips… I don’t know if you do that or not. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing, as long as one is physically able.

  39. bess in oregon says:

    hi! back to ideas about Idaho explorations. i found an interesting side trip that includes 2 big waterfalls on the Snake river.

    at Ashton Idaho, there is a short northerly scenic byway to goes by Mesa Falls. this byway hooks back up with highway 2o on the way to West Yellowstone. the Upper Falls has an overlook.

    this isn’t a place to boondock, i don’t think, just a beautiful interlude, a place to stretch your legs and your mind can reconnect to the infinite natural expressions of variety.

    Anybody out there with other wonderful Idaho or Montana spots of interest to share?

    • Renee from Idaho says:

      Hi Bess, Yes – the Mesa Falls Scenic byway is not to be missed. Heading north from Ashton, you will travel through farm country before beginning your ascent of the Island Park Caldera. As you climb, the road narrows and winds but there is a rest stop on the left that’s wide. A lot of horse trailers stop over there. We found a couple of boondocking sites on the right heading up that would probably fit smaller units and would be a good spot for an overnight stay. As you continue on up, you’ll first come to Lower Mesa Falls. The parking lot there is wide and long for you to pull whatever you’re driving or towing into. There is also a campground there with electricity and I think water. It’s been a couple of years since we’ve been there. Our RV is a 35′ fifth wheel and we stayed at two different sites there for several days. Further up this byway is Upper Mesa Falls but the parking is tighter and not really recommended to pull in with an RV. You’ll soon reconnect back to Hwy 20 that takes you into West Yellowstone, MT. There are many FS CG’s in the Island Park area and if you can stay over there try to, to see Big Springs and Johnny Sack’s cabin. Big Springs is the start of the Snake River, crystal clear and bubbling – an artesian. It’s beautiful. If you like RV parks, Red Rock is very nice and off the beaten path. On the road there, once you turn off Hwy 20 are boondocking spots in the forest along the way. Also, on the other side of Henry Lake is a free CG on the lake – Bill Frome County Park. For sightseeing, and to save money, it might just be the thing. Check out http://www.idahocampgroundreviews.com for information on Eastern Idaho FS camprounds.

      • Renee from Idaho says:

        Also, check out this blog – http://www.fulltime.hitchitch.com/sept2010-2.html – these two guys have traveled extensively in the Island Park and Montana area and list their campgrounds and boondocking site. Super nice guys and they respond promptly like Sue does with information. I follow them because their fifth wheel is the size of ours and we like to do as they do, “a big rig looking for a tent experience”.

        • Julie, Molly & gizmo (Idaho) says:

          Thinking about Idaho camping sites, will mention the beautiful Bear Valley area off hwy 21 towards Stanley. Of course Stanley Lake is great too. Planning an April trip to bruneau sand dunes for birding & hiking. Thanks for the beautiful photos. They are beautiful!
          I was just a little too early during my trip in late March early April to see full bloom but did see super bloom in Death Valley. Sure enjoyed seeing Anza borrego. Many boondocks there in the largest Cali state park.

          • Renee Galligher - Idaho says:

            Yes, the Stanley area is one of our favorites too. There are many boondocking areas up that way especially on the road towards the Bradley Boy Scout camp. A lot of ATV’ers up that way. We camp far enough off the road that they don’t bother us.

  40. John McDonald in Duluth MN says:

    Sounds like you ran into some birds who knew Psalm 150:6, “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.” Pretty cool and inspiring.
    Cheers John

  41. Jan Johnson says:

    Please don’t stop the flower photos! I’ve never been out West, and I always thought of the desert as a bit dreary place, but your photos of your trips there have me really wanting to go there! These blooming cacti are exquisite! The landscapes are hauntingly beautiful. I hope you are having in mind writing a book with photos of your trips some day. I know you have probably written multiple books if you count your whole blog, but I think you would interest a lot of people if you submitted a book to a publisher!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Jan. That’s a great compliment. I don’t know how many posts I’ve written — haven’t looked it up lately — I’ve written a lot, I know that much! I estimate I’ve written about 30,000 comments since April 2011.

  42. Dawn in MI says:

    LOVE the flowers. Most of us will never be lucky enough to see the desert in bloom, so the more flower pictures the better! Also LOVE the storm shot..that’s truly a wonderful image! Glad you’re having fun, hope there will be no more picking thorns out of body parts of you or the crew.

  43. Laura - Illinois says:

    Hi there Sue!

    In the very first photo of the plains.. are those dogs? Oh wait… are those cows? What the heck ARE they???? Inquiring minds wanna know!


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Laura,

      They’re cows. There’s a ranch further up toward the mountains. I like to watch the cows every late afternoon when they make their return trek to the ranch. Some of them are up here on the bluff. Reggie has become a big shot cattle dog ever since he found out that he can intimidate them with his bark. Of course, I have a photo of this which I’ll post soon.

  44. DesertGinger says:

    The desert is so beautiful. I hope to be driving through it in just a few more days. I have lived in the desert for 5 years previously, in Las Vegas, and now in Tucson for 2 years, but I have never really experienced desert bloom like this. Probably doesn’t hurt that it was an El Niño year.

    I don’t know why I am so drawn to the desert, but I am. I feel very at home in the desert, very much like I belong there. I think I must have Indian heritage.

    Wearne having our first bit of sun in several days. Too bad I can’t get out in t. But I do have a project to work on. So, back to work!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ginger,

      It is curious why certain places seem to “speak” to us. I’ve thought about that a lot that past few months. With all the moving around we’ve done over the past five years, I’ve found there are places that call to me, where I feel in equilibrium (hard to explain!). These are not places that are beautiful necessarily.

      You’re working on projects! I assume this is Knife work. Great! It won’t be long and you’ll be sailing across the desert you love.

  45. Renee from Idaho says:

    Hi Sue, Thanks for the photo of the prickly pear fruit forming. That’s it! I’m not sure how long it takes them to ripen, but it may be too long for you to hang around and find out. It would be interesting to see if the color of the bloom determines the color of the fruit. Since I was just a girl when my parents harvested them, I don’t remember.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I have an idea! I think I saw some prickly pear fruit around here somewhere, left over from last year, still on the cactus. If I find it, I’ll pick it and cut it open. I don’t know if I’ll be able to support your theory that the color of the flower determines the color of the fruit because I’ve only seen yellow flowers on the prickly pear around our camp.

      • Renee from Idaho says:

        That would be interesting. If I remember correctly, the outside of the fruit turns either yellow, orange, red, or maroon. But, the inside may be turning too. Thank you!

      • Joyce Sutton says:

        It’s pinkish fruit not yellow when ripe. Pretty yellow blooms and almost coral fruit. Native to the sandy river bottoms and dry spots in MO Ozarks too. Ruins a yard and almost impossible to get rid of

        • Renee Galligher - Idaho says:

          It may be the variety you had there in MO. I remember yellowish pulp, but I could be wrong.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            I picked a cactus fruit this morning, Renee. I hope to find a place to show it in a future post. I’m trying to come up with the courage to taste it. 🙂

            • Renee Galligher - Idaho says:

              Is it soft and mushy? If not, all bets are off on its taste!

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Yes, it’s “soft and mushy.” 🙂

            • Renee Galligher - Idaho says:

              and the outside is colored as opposed to green? If so, try it. I’m living proof they’re not poisonous. Just try a little with a spoon or fork.

  46. Kevin in CO says:

    Wonderful post Sue, great job with the photos and composition. Thanks for sharing.

  47. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    WOW!! The colors are just bursting in these outstanding desert blooms photos. What a pick-me-up after typing for a couple of hours! Even the storm photo was great. Have to get back to work. Thanks for a great break, Sue. OOPs, better walk Angel first.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Barbara. You have a lot “on your plate” these days. Take care of yourself and give Angel a hug from me.

  48. Dawn from Camano Island says:

    What gorgeous photos, Sue! Seeing this beauty is definitely worth a bit of worry about snakes. Love your photo of the storm, too! We would stay at this campsite for as long as possible too–what a nice spot!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Dawn. This is a wonderful spot. And, remember, the lake is nearby. I’ve ignored the lake — which is gorgeous — because I’m all wrapped up in photographing flowers. We would stay here another week or two if it weren’t for the 14-day limit.

  49. Great place to capture so much beauty! We’ve yet to see any spring bloom in northern AZ so you’re definitely in the right spot 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Keep looking! You’re bound to come across some. We have had springs in the past when we didn’t see any wildflowers, or not very many. I’m thinking we missed them. Then in June we camp on a mountain and there are wildflowers all around us!

      In other words, you have plenty of time to find them. Good luck, Jodee!

  50. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    Never, ever apologize for taking too many pictures, be it flowers, sunsets, mountains, or the adorable Crew! I love them all….and am so happy and thankful that you share them with us! 🙂

    Have a good evening! Sending you, Miss Bridget and Sir Reggie hugs from me and Gracie pup! Keep those lovely pictures coming!! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      What a nice opening to your comment, Denise. Well, you always write sweet messages. Thank you. I appreciate the encouragement.

      You and Gracie pup have a good evening, too. Lots of hugs to you both!

  51. Marcia in PA says:

    I absolutely love the flower photos (almost as much as I love photos of the Crew).
    You have a great “eye”. Spring in Arizona is on my bucket list!

  52. kgdan from Wapato, WA says:

    Home. At last. First time since October 23rd. Had a good trip home with very nice weather. The yard is pretty ratty but very pretty nevertheless. Got my first bubble bath; sprinkler system up and running. Early tomorrow we start mowing, weeding, gardening. Love it. It will only get prettier and prettier.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Ha! I remember you mentioning how much you love bubble baths! I’m glad you and Gil made it home safely and in good weather. Now you get to enjoy your property . . . .

  53. weather says:

    All great photos, Sue, especially the one with the storm approaching, it’s spectacular .I can almost sense it’s power and how exciting that was from here. I stared at it and realized again how glad I am that I chose the T@B as an rv. As you mentioned about your home, it’s perfect for having all senses experiencing what’s around with only big windows and fiberglass as shelter. You know that before I found your blog I intended to get a Class C and would have felt as separated from that as I do in the house, one of many things I have you to thank you for. I’m glad you posted today, I’ll be away from my laptop tomorrow, left a reply about why on the last post. I’m guessing you will be ,too, with your moving camp. I hope that goes wonderfully ,catch up with you Tuesday if you ‘re able to check in then,or if not, Friday. Stay safe and happy 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, weather,

      I expect you will enjoy your T@B very much! You don’t seem like a Class C person to me. Thanks for letting me know you’ll be away from your laptop. Whatever tomorrow brings, I wish you a smooth, safe road through it. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I replied before reading your other message. Have a wonderful three days with family, weather!

  54. Sally in MI says:

    Beautiful! I have never seen the desert so this is fun.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It’s fun for me, too, being a lifelong Easterner! Glad you are riding with us, Sally. Thanks for commenting.

  55. katydid in Chicago says:

    Wow is certainly the right word for your flower photos! The desert in bloom has certainly moved up high on my “must see list” for our upcoming RV travels.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, katydid,

      The desert has many different “faces.” This is one of its prettiest! I do hope you see the desert in bloom someday.

  56. Nita Laughlin says:

    I have always thought cactus blossoms were the most beautiful of all flower blossoms !! To me it is like looking at a very fine piece of velvet. Prickly Pear fruit makes delicious jelly. !!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Satin and velvet . . . Yes! Hi, Nita…. The cactus blooms look delicate and, yet, try to touch one and you’re liable to get stuck!

  57. Gail on the Olympic Peninsula says:

    You can never have too many photos of beautiful flowers ! I had hoped to see the desert in bloom this spring, but had to postpone my trip for various reasons, so I am very much enjoying seeing thru your eyes and lens. Maybe I can make it in person next year. Your travels and posts are most definitely an inspiration for all who follow you in spirit thru your blog. Thanks Sue !

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Gail. I do hope you can make the trip next year that you had planned. There is so much to see and experience in this beautiful land. I never run out of beauty to share.

  58. Rachel Smith says:

    Hey gal, long time no talk! I hope all is well in your world. Great photos of the blooming desert. I’m here in Wickenburg and enjoying the same show. Fantastic, isn’t it! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Rachel!!! It is so good to see you here! I lost touch with your blog, couldn’t find it, and often times I would wonder about you and your sweet Macha. Thank you for coming here again.

      I clicked on your name and quickly read some of your recent posts. As always, the writing is superb. More than that, you express innermost thoughts and feelings with clarity and heart.

      Gosh, it’s great hearing from you. Congratulations on your van and solar!

      • Rachel Smith says:

        Hi Again, Sue!

        It is so nice to be missed! You make me feel special every time I come out here. 🙂 It has been crazy, wild and yet, wonderful, in my little world. 🙂 Your incredibly generous compliments about my writing always surprises me. But it is so good to hear from you again as well. I am down in Wickenburg still, and it always reminds me of when I met this warm, caring, woman, named RVSue!

    • DesertGinger says:

      Hi Rachel, we missed you. Welcome back.

      • Rachel Smith says:

        Hi DesertGinger,
        Thank you too! Boy, this is just making my day! 🙂 I hope to be out here more often, but it always seems to be hit and then miss a few for me these days. But it is so good to be out here today. Sue takes such great photos and gives such wonderful compliments, it is like getting a double dose of happy. 🙂

  59. Aerolite Steve says:

    So beautiful!!! I’ll be getting our new (to us) trailer out soon and start the good times for a season. Maybe I can get some pics like yours further north in the next few weeks.

  60. Patsy (nothern ontario) says:

    Wow I have never seen a catus bloom, so beautiful. Thank you for sharing. I hope one day to be as adventurous as you, and hope that my health etc will continue. I can’t thank you enough for sharing this with us. For some you are a beacon of hope that some day our life will be as free as yours. Hugs to the crew. from up north in Ontario, where it is still snowing 🙁

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Patsy,

      Thank you for calling me “a beacon of hope.” I’m just a person who made her dream a reality. We can hope for good health to last, but we never know how long it will. That’s why I set out with my crew as soon as I could after retiring. Time is precious! I hope your “some day” comes soon, Patsy.

  61. Linda in NE says:

    I always think it’s so amazing that the stickery cactus plants can have such beautiful flowers. But I think dandelions and the white clover that takes over our yard every few years are pretty too….and the bees love them.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      The contrasts add to the wonder . . . delicate-looking flowers on a cactus that will make you holler in pain. ha!

      Yeah, when did dandelions and clover around a house become a bad thing? Neat is boring.

  62. leilani says:

    Those blooms are stunning. I’m snake phobic too, but it would be worth the anxiety to wake up surrounded by luxuriant bouquets like that. Like having your own personal Valentine’s Day, every day. I’ll bet it smells glorious out there after it rains.

    Could that bird you’re hearing be a Black Crowned Night Heron? Are you near the lake or river there? I live on a lake and hear them at dawn & dusk although every once in a while they seem to get their clocks out of whack (perhaps breeding time?) & I’ll hear their funny call and even see them fishing from my dock or fence posts uncharacteristically in the middle of the day.

    I wouldn’t say their call sounds exactly like a human critter saying Wow, but more ‘buzzy’, sort of like a cartoon character, if that makes sense.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, leilani,

      Being curious, I looked up the Black Crowned Night Heron to listen to its call. (Click the link for photo, info, and a recording.) No, that’s not the bird I hear. This bird isn’t a water bird. It’s voice is higher-pitched and clear, not at all raspy. Thanks for reminding me of the heron. I think I saw them in Florida.

      Snake phobia is a bit strong for my feelings about snakes. I react negatively to the sight of them, like many folks do. And the risk for the pups is a concern, of course — mostly Reggie because he moves around so fast.

  63. Corkerinna620 (Mobile AL) says:

    Love the cacti blooming photos, as well as the storm clouds. Can just smell the rain. All is good.

  64. Annie in Oregon says:

    Loved the pictures! I’ve always heard the desert was beautiful in the spring…you just confirmed it.

  65. Eileen Dykeman says:

    WOW! Great flower pics, and I like the one of the storm, too! Thanks!

  66. Ronda western WA says:

    Thank you I love flower pictures and yours are beautiful! In my head I know it’s just a matter of environment and experience but cacti flowers seem so unique to me. I wonder if other people think twin flowers or queens cup are unique while I just expect to see them every year. I try not to take them for granted. It’s always a joy to see them.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re probably right, Ronda. That which is new and unfamiliar is more interesting to us. Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed the cactus flowers.

  67. Hyla Mess says:

    Loved your pictures. That storm looked a little scary, especially when you had not protection from the wind. Question: Seeing all of your cactus blooms, what is the name of one particular cactus that when it blooms, the blossom has a horrid smell?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Hyla,

      I don’t know what cactus you mean — the one with the “horrid smell.” Maybe a reader will tell us.

      The storm was exciting and fun! To feel that immense power and to see it for miles, sweeping across the land, marvelous!

  68. Cindi - Newport News VA says:

    The cactus pictures are so awesome!!

  69. WI & FL Beverly says:

    I just enjoyed your desert flower photos immensely. The desert is most certainly NOT boring! What a treat to see the most exquisite flowers on the cactus. I’ll have to put a trip to the desert in April on my bucket list now.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Wisconsin and Florida Beverly!

      You’ve been a faithful follower and blogorino (under the name Beverly K.)….Thank you for that. I’m pleased the flower photos gave you enjoyment!

  70. Karen LeMoine says:

    You show the desert in all its glory! From the colorful desert blooms to the drama of the incoming storms! Its so wonderful to see! The desert rocks! Thanks!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Karen! I wanted to stay outside during the storm to take more photos but the lightning sent me indoors. I’m pleased you like what you see here.

  71. Your photos are beautiful !!! Spring is the most wonderful season in the desert !!!

  72. MB from VA says:

    Apologies for this post? Are you kidding? The pictures and narration were absolutely beautiful. Those moments like the “wow” moment you had with the birds are…..actually there are no words for what they are. Until you experience being such a “part of it all” you won’t know because no one can tell you. I’ve had a one or two here on the farm this spring……where I go back to my Baptist roots….lift my hands and sing the doxology. Good thing God said “make a joyful “noise”….because this girl can’t sing a lick! 😛 I’ve lived here for over 15 years. Cared for it as my job for around 10. The owner is here “sometimes” as he works out of town for the most part. It’s like it’s mine….but not. I will miss it when I leave but will carry those moments with me wherever I go. It was established as a farm in 1768. Many before me and many will come after……..Have a great day Sue and crew!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It’s a pleasure to read about your affection for the farm. You did valuable work there, and yes, you will carry those moments wherever you go. You have learned that it isn’t necessary to own something in order to make it a special part of your life.

      Thank you for sharing part of your “story.” You have a great day, too, MB!

  73. Mary Batt says:


    WOW here too! Flower pix are awesome. Glad to see from your text there are MORE for me in an older post. Thank you for your skills with your eye and camera. And thank you for sharing your ‘trip’. The ‘storm sky’ is likewise awesome and exciting. AND, the final shot in this post is calming, pacifying and most pleasant. Great composition in photos and post. Great presentation! Now I will go and enjoy your other pix : ) Thanks.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Mary,

      Your comments are always very complimentary, enthusiastic, and encouraging! I appreciate that. Thank you!

  74. Diane, Blue Ridge Mts, VA says:

    The Living Desert! WOW, Awesome! Thanks for sharing her amazing beauty. Have never seen this in person, only through you. Enjoy the spring. Take Care Sue and Crew.

  75. casitagirl says:

    Wow Wow Wow!!! Beautiful photos, Sue! Love them!

  76. Terri From Texas says:

    Beautiful photos! We just got back from a quick weekend trip to Mustang Island State Park. We visited the Corpus Christi Botannical Gardens-very dog friendly and a beautiful, if smallish, gardens. Our dog was even allowed in the Butterfly house! They have a variety of things there-a collection of parrots (and they do a hands on presentation), a collection of reptiles, and tortoises, as well as a stunning variety of flowers, including an amazing orchid house. I can see why people can become obsessed over orchids! No comments regarding the horrible weedeating-oops, was that one? Except for “Our tax dollars at work!” Glad you ended up in such a gorgeous place. You know, for many years we have visited places which had signs “Watch for snakes” I have never, ever seen a snake anywhere I have ever visited. We did see a rattler curled up under a rock in Chaco Canyon but he was asleep. So, don’t worry too much about snakes-just enjoy the desert and the plants!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Terri,

      Interesting information! Sounds like a place we would enjoy and Bridget could give a tour! Thanks for telling us about it. I’m glad you liked the photos in this post.

  77. rvsueandcrew says:


    Your reactions to the photos in this post have been fun for me to read. Thanks again.

    Hold your comments — A new post will be up soon!


  78. Linda - from Central Illinois says:

    Oh, the flowers!!!
    I do love the flowers!
    I know I’m a few days late responding, but we’ve been camping ourselves, however in Illinois…. things are MUCH different. We do have some trees flowering now, but the desert flowers are so fine!

  79. cateW says:

    Hi Sue and Crew,

    Wow is right…for the blooming desert photos since I can only imagine the bird calls. This is YOUR journal, Sue, and although you graciously share your travels and experiences with us…I will always support Sue doing what Sue wants/needs to get out of her RV life. If I never see the desert in her spring blooming glory for myself…I had a gorgeous view of the event here on your blog! So happy for you and the crew that you gave yourself this gift.

    I backtracked to this posting for another dose of beautiful after reading Bridget’s guest blogging about her new car. Oh you lucky, lucky girl, Bridge. You are sitting pretty now in your new blue buggie. Isn’t your mommy the best?! And the whole family enjoys this improved mobility as much as you do…doesn’t get any better.

    Love and hugs to Sue and her adorable crew,

  80. Elaine in Colorado says:

    Hi Sue, love love love the flower pictures and any picture of Reggie and Bridget. I’ve never seen cactus flowering before your pictures. Did the one cactus actually grow fruit? If so, it looked like someone indulged on two of them.

    Happy travels!

  81. Leesa (IA) says:

    The most beautiful pictures of the flowering cactus I’ve ever seen. I’m with you on the whole snake thing – Uggg! Glad you didn’t encounter any while taking those lovely pictures. Spring has finally sprung in Iowa we were beginning to wonder let me tell you. Love this time of year even though is gets very busy. Reading you blog gives me an excuse to sit a rest awhile, looking forward to your spring time adventures.

  82. Kris says:

    The flower photos are really lovely! Thanks so much for sharing. 🙂

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