I found this on a recent scrambling/bouldering
trip east of Payson. It was growing beside a road,
on the south side of a rocky hill at 5,000' in elevation. It is a common variety of Arizona paintbrush, and it signals to me the true beginning of Spring.
Doesn't it look like somebody took a brush loaded with
fresh red-orange paint, and painted it??? It wasn't me!
I'm only the photographer. (May 5, 2008)
Please click for better resolution, and you'll see
how the petals grow along the top 3/4 of the plant's
stem, which is typical of Indian Paintbrush.