Happy Trails…

Hi Friends!

Rabbit, Rabbit! May is finally here…  and that is something that I always celebrate!

In our Midwest perennial and herb gardens, mid-May is planting time. Very soon, seeds can be sown in our garden beds and tender annuals can be planted in containers for the deck and front porch. Spring Planting Day is always the happiest of days at our house! I’ve been planning, buying seeds, and waiting for the big day to arrive…

Celebrating the small moments that make life so sweet is something we often do here at Petals.Paper.Simple Thymes. Today is a BIG celebration of a small moment ~ and you are a very special part of our celebration!

Over the past year, so much has grown in our garden.

Along with the water and sunshine that helped our flowers and herbs grow,

stories from the heart, photos, and friends (old and new)

have helped our little blog grow, too.


Petals.Paper.Simple Thymes 

is exactly one year old!!


This week, at at Floral Design workshop, it was such fun to create a bouquet to celebrate our first year!

It has been such a joy to connect with so many kindred spirits across the globe!

Gardeners, paper crafters, and those of us who celebrate the simple things in life

have been gathering here for the past twelve months.


Each one of you has become a sweet blossom in our bouquet of friends!

Thank you all so much for spending time here,

returning again and again,

and leaving such thoughtful comments.

I am truly humbled by your friendship!


are my favorite part of our blog!


It is always a special joy to to think of YOU while writing each post.

Year Two will bring more stories to warm your heart,

simple garden ideas to inspire you,

and lots of surprises, too!


♡ Heartfelt thanks!

Happy Trails…

Are you ready for a nice, long walk? Lace up your sturdy boots, grab a hat and sunscreen, and don’t forget to bring a bottle of water! Our ‘Happy Trails’ will take us deep into the Sonoran Desert in Arizona.

Last week, the weather was just perfect for long hikes in the Arizona desert.

Last week, the weather was just perfect for long hikes in the Arizona desert.

Just a week ago, my husband and I had a wonderful time exploring the Lost Dutchman State Park, near Apache Junction, Arizona. Temperatures were in the low 80s the day we packed a picnic and set out for a new adventure. The blue skies and gentle breezes were just perfect for hiking!

Four Peaks, with elevations of 7,000 feet, towers majestically over the Tonto National Forest.

Four Peaks, with elevations of 7,000 feet, tower majestically over the Tonto National Forest. An amethyst mine on one peak produces the most exquisite purple gem stones. During the winter, snow can often be seen on top of Four Peaks.

Early spring rains and above average temperatures during March, made the Sonoran desert more lush and colorful than usual this April.

Let’s hit the trail…

The Palo Verde trees in bloom bring an extra burst of sunshine to the desert landscape in April.

The Palo Verde trees in bloom brought an extra burst of sunshine to the desert landscape in April. What a stunning contrast to the dark, rugged Superstition Mountains in the distance.

The spectacular mountain views were such a treat as we followed one of the many trails through the Lost Dutchman State Park. It was so different from the flat trails we often hike in Illinois. Desert lizards, birds, bees, and butterflies were our companions as we hiked along the dusty trails.

Beautiful views captured our attention around each bend in the trail.

Beautiful views captured our attention around each bend in the trails.

Legends of  a hidden gold mine added an element of mystery to the natural beauty of  The Lost Dutchman State Park. It was easy to imagine the days of the Old West as we hiked along the trails.

Just two weeks earlier, the desert was a sea of yellow. Above average temperatures turned the bright, yellow blossoms of the brittle brush dry and brown.

So glad you could hike along with us!

Next time, join us for a hike along The Great Western Trail,

through the Tonto National Forest.

You’ll love the breathtaking views, with mountains in every direction.


Wishing you ‘Happy Trails’, sweet friends!

I’m so glad that you stopped by today!

Sending warm sunshine!


16 thoughts on “Happy Trails…

  1. Hi Dawn, Congratulations! One year! Bravo! I was just out in the wild West too – I adore the open skies! I tried to click on COMMENT today but it sent me to a page that said that it didn’t exist. Maybe try it? I am just afraid you will miss some congratulations! on your one year anniversary if the link directs your readers nowhere!

    Happy trails! Happy days!

    Best, Jayne

    • Hi, Jayne! Thanks for the happy wishes! The blue skies, mountains, and sunshine in the desert recharge our soul every time we visit family there! Thanks so much for letting me know about the problem! It must be ‘growing pains’ and I tried to fix it. Fingers crossed! Have a great weekend, Jayne! ♡

  2. Happy Birthday! Penblwydd Hapus! Wonderful entry and I love seeing the desert and all the lovely images! I remember, with great fondness, my trail through the desert ~ all too short a visit. I was so impressed with everything I saw. I love your seed packet bunting wreath so much!
    Congratulations on your first anniversary, and here’s to year two and many, many more!
    ~~~Deb in Wales xoxo

    • Oh, Deb! Thank you so much for your sweet words!! I’m delighted that this post brought back happy memories of your days in the desert, too. Can’t wait to plant the seeds from my wreath. May 15th is our date to sow seeds safely here. I’m counting the days! I’m really looking ahead to year two of blogging!! Sending big hugs Across the Pond! ♡

    • Thanks so much for visiting today, Jodi! I just came in from a delightful afternoon in the garden. Such fun!! Happy Weekend, Jodi! ♡

  3. Dawn,
    Happy Birthday! I’m so happy to have found your site.
    What a great hike. One of those lizards looked very large. I love lizards, I used to catch them when visiting my aunt in Oregon. Did you encounter any snakes on your hike?
    I look forward to your always inspiring and interesting posts in the coming year.

    • Heartfelt thanks, Karen! Although we were warned that the rattlesnakes were awakening from their hibernation, luckily we didn’t encounter any along the trails. You can be SURE that I was watching my step the entire way!! One day, we went ‘tourist’ and visited an old gold mining Ghost Town. There was a little museum filled with live rattlesnakes (in terrariums!) from many parts of the world. So glad that I was brave and stepped inside this little museum. I learned so many interesting things about rattlesnakes. Hope we never encounter one on our hikes though!! Thanks so much for your encouraging words, Karen! So glad we are friends! Happy Weekend! ♡

  4. Dear Dawn, Happy anniversary on your one year of blogging! I love how coming to visit always makes me smile–such a happy place! Your celebration flowers are lovely. I know you are excited to start your gardening season! I’m looking forward to what you share about it on your blog. Your trip to Arizona looks wonderful–my husband and I will be going to Scottsdale in the fall and we must check out The Lost Dutchman State Park. What wonderful photos you have shared. Have a great weekend! ♥

    • Awww, Martha Ellen! You are so sweet and I always look forward to your visits! I’m so happy that May has arrived! In my classroom, we always called it Marvelous, Magical May!! It was such a joy to spend the whole afternoon in the garden today. Lots of work ~ but so much fun!! You will LOVE Scottsdale in the fall. I would be so happy to suggest fun places to visit in the area. I have been visiting relatives there for over 2o years… and we always discover something new! Have a wonderful weekend, Martha Ellen! ♡

  5. This is a test, only a test! I think it will work this time. To repeat, rabbit, rabbit on May Day. Loved the Arizona trails. Can’t wait to do some of the same in Arizona this July 4th.
    LOVE the bouquet. You are so multi-talented, Dawn.

    • Yay, Anne! It worked! Something was definitely amiss on the blog earlier this morning. Perhaps ‘growing pains’…
      So happy that you are here today, Anne! It’s hard to believe that you have been visiting our little blog for a whole year! It’s so interesting to take hikes in the Sonoran desert. You will have to share your experiences in Prescott this summer. It should be cooler there, than in the Phoenix area. I’m curious to know about the Prescott National Forest.
      I have always wanted to learn about Floral Design. So, I took a little class this week. Can’t wait to practice with garden flowers all summer long! Big hugs, my friend! Have a wonderful weekend! ♡

  6. Happy Anniversary, Dawn. Your posts are always inspiring and uplifting. I look forward to many, many more. It is amazing, isn’t it, how fast the time goes and how many wonderful folks we meet along the path of blogging. I’m so happy we “met”.
    Thank you for the adventurous walk through the desert. I enjoyed seeing all of the photos, but the lizard really intrigued me. A perfect portrait of camouflage.
    Enjoy this warming weekend, Dawn. Your garden (and mine) are calling. 🙂

    • Thanks so much for your kind words, Penny! You are such a special part of our little blog. We really had to look hard to spot the lizards during our desert hikes! Isn’t it wonderful to be celebrating May in the garden ~ at last? Enjoy the warm sunshine, Penny! ♡

  7. I just found your blog today and am delighted by the warm sunny photos you shared today. 🙂 Such a beautiful area and you captured it wonderfully. 🙂

    • Thanks so much for your kind words! I’m delighted that you stopped to visit today. It’s such fun to visit the desert southwest! I love to learn about all of the plants there. It’s so different from our Midwest gardens! I hope you will come visit again. Soon there will be more sunny memories from the Sonoran desert. Have a great week! ♡

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