Hello Friends and Family,

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Desert Botanical Garden, Part 4

After leaving the garden, having taken a collection of nighttime shots, I realized that I had forgotten that the wildflowers were in bloom. So I returned a few days later to see what I could capture. First of all, when I arrived I just happened to "see" the entrance differently than I have ever seen it before. Awesome!

As I wondered about moving in the direction of the wildflower trail, I spotted a number of cactus plants also with their springtime finest on display.

Because the desert landscape is rather drab, these showy blossoms really stand out. Perhaps they have to in order to survive and reproduce by attracting the pollinators that are in short supply in this hostile environment.

I thought these blossoms resembled two baby birds in a nest.

These buds sit atop a prickly pear cactus just waiting for the right time to pop open.

Here another prickly pear already in bloom.

Look at this cactus with the long spines which look like they are defending the flowers against predators. Not too many predators can get past that defense.

This succulent is Stapelia gigantea, a variety of carrion plant. The common name is derived from the "perfume" of the flower which smells like rotten flesh. This attracts flies and other similar pollinators.

These are Desert Marigolds and bloom year-round. They are native to the Sonoran Desert, which encompasses Central Arizona down into Mexico.

I am not sure what variety of wildflower is growing here. Mr. Google suggests they are Canterbury Bells. If anyone knows for sure, please let me know.

Ah, here we find the familiar California Poppy, the official state flower of California. They are drought-tolerant, self-seeding, and easy to grow — which explains why they seem to be everywhere in the Southwest.

We close this week with a mixture of wildflowers — looks like someone just tossed a variety of seeds and they sprouted. Love it!

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

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