Photos of the day - 31 May 2016

Right on schedule

As far as I can tell, there is only one cactus in my yard here at 6800 ft. MSL on the Front Range of the Rockies.  It lives on a patch of dirt in the pocket of a huge rock.  Whatever rain falls upon it quickly runs off or evaporates.  So while wildflowers of various sorts occupy most of the ground, this cactus may be the only thing that can survive in this microenvironment.

Every year, this member of the mammilaria family blooms in the last couple days of May.  For several days, the flowers open in the morning and close in the evening.  And then they are gone until the next year.

Photos of the day - 21 May 2016

Saguaro cactus in bloom

Saguaros are one of the "type species" of the Sonoran desert.  They are very tolerant of drought, and their pleated trunks expand and contract as their shallow but broad root systems pull moisture from the ground whenever it rains.  However their northern range is limited by their low tolerance for freezing temperatures.

It was a special year for the Saguaro cacti around Tucson, Arizona this Spring.  In all my years living in and visiting Tucson, I have never seen such an explosion of Saguaro blooms as I did this year.