Hello Friends and Family,

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Desert Botanical Garden, Part 2

For many people, Spring is their favorite time of year. That is certainly true here in the northern reaches of the Sonoran Desert. The weather is generally lovely and the desert flora is blossoming. Of course, there are those who suffer from allergies during the Spring — and others like myself who suffered elsewhere but not here so much.

Starting today's exhibition is a Teddy Bear Cholla AKA Jumping Cholla. The latter name comes from the spines which are sharp and well barbed. If you brush up against one, you may come away with a part of the cactus. Don't touch it! Use a comb or credit card to pry the spines out — and make a mental note not to do that again. It seems that every year at the Phoenix Open, at least one golfer will get too close and suffer the consequences. ROOKIE!

Relaxing in the shade is a family of Mexican Fire Barrel Cactus. Interesting fact from Wikipedia, most of this genus of cactus "are ant plants, exuding nectar along the upper meristem from extrafloral nectaries above each areole, and hosting ant colonies." So not only do you have to watch out for those vicious spines, you have to worry about ants too.

And, of course, each Spring brings out a profusion of wildflowers — these are Celebration Blanket Flowers. Beautiful!

I feel like I'm dreaming — seeing Desert Sunflowers backed by fuzzy images of purple wildflowers.

Next is a nice planting of Blackfoot Daisies and friends.

A beautiful collection of Furman's Red Autumn Sage. They supposedly attact hummingbirds but I did not see one while was there.

Another stand of Blackfoot Daisies — all by themselves this time.

In the midst of all the wildflowers we find a SPINY cactus with an open blossom. Those are monster spines, n'est-pas?

And did you see the bee coming in to grab some nectar? She's not afraid of any ol' spines — she has her own stinger.

And nearby a prickly pear with a couple bright yellow blossoms.

And another.

And last for today is a small colony of Indian Blanket flowers. These are found all over the Southwest in profusion.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

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