18 October 2009

Cholla Cactus Garden

Joshua Tree National Park

Locate the trailhead.

Along the road as the deserts change and the frequency of particular cacti changes, there is a little educational loop through a dense patch of cholla cactus. It turned out these were the delightfully wicked narrow spiny things I'd spotted at that first stop and thought were interesting enough to photograph with the Joshua trees. They didn't look very healthy at that first stop. A few at the second stop looked a little better. In the "garden", they looked very happy and healthy.

landscape of cholla cacti
The cholla cacti were very dense on the patch of land designated as the garden.

ground littered with small cactus starts
Some spots on the ground were littered with these little cacti and buds. They were hard to tell apart except one wasn't actually attached to the ground and was hoping to find an animal to attach to and spread it. One person made the mistake of picking one up and it tried its hardest not to be put down again.

once these were flowers
They are supposed to be spectacular in bloom, but we were far too late to see that.

dried flower
An old, dried flower with a little color left in it. A second in the out of focus area.

They live in a very pretty area. There was even someone trying to do a photoshoot with models on bicycles just down the road. It was funny to watch them as they take off down the road as if they're traveling somewhere, then suddenly circle around lazily and get ready to go again.

the mountains around
A bit of the local landscape.

the mountains around
A bit more of the local landscape.

the mountains around
Yet more of the local landscape.

And, just to be clear, these are DANGEROUS cacti!

warning sign
Actual warning sign at the "start" of the loop through the cactus garden area.

©2009,2010 Valerie Norton
Posted 9 February 2010

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