A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Friday, April 8, 2011

To Hike Up or Hike Flat

The park has two hiking trails to the top of Picacho Peak. One is 3.1 miles long and the other is only 2 miles. The shorter one is more difficult where it requires the use cables to help yourself up the steep slope and the wearing of gloves is recommended. It all sounded like good fun but I thought why would I want to do that? For the view? For just to be able to say "I did it"? Really what I wanted to do was just go for a walkabout in the desert to see what I could find. To look for critters, cacti, rocks and treasure. That sounded like more fun. It was early morning and off I went. I didn't find any treasure or critters and the birds only teased me when I tried to take their picture. There were no unusual rocks either so cactus was my only reward, but I enjoyed the walkabout nevertheless.

This plant belongs to a family of cacti commonly called fish hook cactus, and I think you can tell why.
From the prickly pear family of cacti.
I think these next two are a barrel cactus. I got caught up in doing close-ups and now cannot tell what is what.
A hedgehog cactus
And lastly, the wonderful saguaro. Because of the wet winter the pleats of the saguaro are spread apart for the plant expands filling with moisture. As the summer wears on the pleats will slowly contract down to where the each row of spines will be touching each other.


  1. lovely macros! love those spines!

  2. The Barrel cactus is my favorite. Great shots, hope you didn't get pricked while taking them. Re, your question: no I don't have any filters for my camera. That was straight out of the camera.

  3. The fish hook cactus are neat but nasty. Glad you did the walk about instead of cables.

  4. I wouldn't have enjoyed hauling myself up a cable, either. The desert walk would be more pleasant. Love the cactus photos. There are so many varieties!

  5. the light in these photos is beautiful. especially that first one. it looks like morning. your photos are extraordinary as usual.

  6. Yes, you are correct, they are barrel cacti. Those hooked spines are great at scratching exposed skin :[ Nice study on spines!

  7. Great pictures of these cactus. They are really big.
    If we want to see cactus in Norway, you must buy them, and most of them are very small.
    Thanks for your nice comments in my blog. I appreciate it:)
    Have a nice weekend, and give Sinbad a hug from me:)
    Greetings from,

  8. Thank you for the comments.

    This is one of the reasons I enjoy going further south to the Sonoran Desert rather than the Mojave or Great Basin, just for the vast variety of plants. As we traveled further east we entered the chihuahuan desert and there were noticeable differences.

    Now as I think back, I wish I would have done the cable required hike...just to see if I still have it in me or not.


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