Hello Friends and Family,

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Spring in the Desert, Part 8

Such a profusion of flowers! Mother Nature has evolved the cactus well to be such a sturdy plant — otherwise it could not support so many blossoms. And on the aesthetic side, she is knocking us over with such overwhelming beauty.

And on the other end of the scale, a few small, delicate flowers are positively enchanting.

And I love the juxtaposition of the huge, brilliantly colored flowers on a cactus with such long, menacing spines.

Meanwhile, down at ground level, a small lizard sneaks around looking for that next insect to devour. Unlike the lizard I shared a few weeks ago, this one did not pay any attention to me — just went about his job.

Notice these cactus blossoms offer a showy three-tone coloration. It is just not what you get in the desert most of the year, when it is drab, monotone hues.

Another cactus with very unusual flowers. In fact, one might hesitate to call them flowers — they look that different.

I love these tiny cacti with their even tinier flowers. They look almost unreal — like the gardener attached petite artificial blossoms to improve the cactus' appearance.

Sorry but I just cannot get enough of the prickly pear blooms — so wonderfully showy.

Bright pink? Mother Nature — you done good!

Hidden in the shade was this cactus that seemed to be lying down on the job. No wonder — look at the size of those blossoms! Two already open and nine more soon to follow.

We conclude this series with another desert inhabitant. As I was driving out of the garden, I noticed cars stopped in the other lane. Then the reason caught my eye — and thus was caught by my camera. It looks like a Diamondback rattlesnake but I do not see any rattles on its tail. Google did not give me a positive ID — so I will have to wait for any herpetologists out there to chime in.

By the way, I normally expect Arizona drivers to run over any snake they find on the roadway — so I was a bit surprised that the first car had stopped. Perhaps the folks who frequent the Desert Botanical Garden are more respectful of all of Mother Nature's desert fauna as well as her flora.

I hope you have enjoyed the Spring in the Desert series — it sure was fun for me. Summer is fast approaching and the landscape now looks so very different — more like we are used to. And the 100+ degree days are here to stay for most of the next few months.

Life is good.

B. David

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