Hello Friends and Family,

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Desert Botanical Gardens, Part 3

Continuing the tour — I am always surprised by the flowers. More than surprised — impressed. The desert is such a harsh environment but somehow a wide variety of plants somehow scratch out an existence. And in order for the species to survive, they must procreate, which for most plants requires some kind of flower. Also pollinators.

Many of the flowers are so unlike those found in more temperate climates. If you squint at these, you can almost image sea anemones.

I remember seeing Christmas cactus grown for sale during the holidays and being skeptical that the flowers were real. They and the cactus pictured here look like someone stuck a brightly colored fake flower between the cactus spines.

But real they are — the more you see the more you believe — and appreciate the variety that Mother Nature has created.

And from a photographer's artistic point of view, the juxtaposition of the delicate flowers among the nasty-looking spines — well, it just does not get any better than that.

This gang of cacti were all bunched together like the commuters on a Tokyo commuter train. But one rider wore a tiny flower. Obviously, I played with it in Photoshop to bring out the tiny bright red flower otherwise lost in a sea of black and white.

Ever ready for a surprise, we encounter a cactus that looks like a rock — other than the fact that it is green. it has no spines — so I remain curious how it protects itself from hungry animals.

Late afternoon brings the lazy part of the day. These fat ol' boys look like they are just hanging around waiting for the saloon to open.

At the same time, the sun moving lower in the sky lights up the spines on the cacti.

I was mesmerized. I could not stop staring and taking pictures of the different shapes, sizes and configurations of spines.

This gang almost looks like they are dancing.

While others simply seem to glow along their edges.

We complete our visit to the Desert Botanical Gardens next week.

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com