Visit to Tucson, AZ

Springtime in the Sonoran Desert

May, 1999

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The Trip

I was born and raised in Tucson and have lived there off and on since 1953.  In 1976, I left to move to San Diego.  One of the highpoints of living there is seeing the odd flora that is part of the Soronan Desert.  My father bought a house on Tucson's northwest side many years ago.  That section of town is known for lush cactus growth.  The photos below were taken in the empty lot next to my parents house and at the Rillito Nursery close by.

Prickley Pear cactus bloom..

Cholla with nasty spines.

Prickly Pear cactus with buds.

Another type of Cholla, with buds.

Regular Cholla.

Classic Sonoran desert vista.

Golden Cholla.  The very worst.

Prickly Pear paddle skeleton.

Pin Cushion Cactus.  Small spines, very nasty.

Long spine Hedgehog cactus.

Sagauros, Barrel Cactus, and Cholla. Mainstay of the Sonoran desert.

Ironwood bush with mistletoe parasites.

Palo Verde in bloom.

Another unknown flower.

Gross structure of cactus flower.

Interesting fine structure for cactus flower.

Flower unknown.

At the nursery, flower unknown.

Red bloom, flower unknown.

Water lilly in bloom at the nursery.

The desert around Tucson is very lush during the early spring.  Nearly every plant puts out blooms of some kind.  Even the most-hated cholla have a softer side.  Not much, mind you, they are still evil in nearly ever way.  Although, the buds do make good kindling for fires.


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