I spotted this Desert Cottontail yesterday evening as I started to drive away from the Tom’s Thumb trailhead (yes…I’m a glutton for punishment 🙂 . I stopped my vehicle hoping he wouldn’t move. A few moments later, he snacked on a Buckhorn Cholla bloom.
So…Jerry…what I mentioned yesterday morning really works. Get out late in the day and you’ll have better luck capturing animals!
Buckhorn Cholla (Opuntia acanthocarpa) blooms seen yesterday afternoon. The blooms vary in color. I’ve seen yellow, yellow/orange, yellow/red, and orange/red. The bloom in this photo was about 2 1/4 inches wide. The name Buckhorn comes from the antler-like appearance of the cactus. Antlers full of thorns!
So why is Chris touching it?! This second photo was taken at the first sign of new growth. The brand new growth is actually soft and pliable and is the only time you would be able to touch it and not leave with a spine in your finger.
Wildflowers are waning but most cactus are now full of flower buds like this Buckhorn Cholla, for instance. New growth is so beautiful when backlit. The yellow you see in the background is Brittlebush.