Tag Archives: cactus flower

Beauty Amidst the Thorns

McDowell Mt/Sonoran Desert

This is my first experience of the Sonoran desert in bloom and, wow, am I astonished by the profuse flowering of the prickly plants that dot this arid landscape. It’s amazing that the Cholla cactus pictured below can make room for tender blossoms amidst its dense armament of needles.

Cholla in bloom

In Springtime, the desert’s neutral palette is painted in tender greens, bright yellows, and pinky-reds as the cactus flowers open to sunlight.

Cholla in bloom

My son recently gave me a Moment macro lens to attach to my iPhone. I’ve not quite mastered the focus, especially in strong sunlight, but I did manage to catch a few hyper-close images of a Cholla cactus’s flower in bloom. I’m certain there’s a reason why the cactus flower’s stigma rises to skyscraper heights above bright yellow stamens–undoubtedly a pollinator-appealing structure–but to me this close-up recalls a SciFi creature like Ridley Scott’s Alien.

Cholla in bloom

Cholla in bloom

Don’t ask me to name the cactus variety featured below–I was too entranced by the vibrant magenta flower that crowned its thorny top. Believe me, it’s hazardous enough taking a cactus close-up, but when the macro lens requires mere inches in distance for a focal length, those needles are nearly impossible to avoid as I can attest!Cactus flower

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