|Mesquite Tree flowers|
I was elated by the many flowers, but one sight really got my hopes up for what might lie ahead in the high elevation cactus garden on the west slope of the mountain: right as we started down the north side of a deep gully I saw some flowers beginning to open on the side of a Strawberry Hedgehog. I was not disappointed when we reached the crest of the upper foothills trail because one Strawberry Hedgehog right next to a Parry's Agave had three flowers on it; it was the only hedgehog with blooms.
As we proceeded down the mountain I heard somebody call out my name; it was our pal Jimmy, who was heading up the road. We circled back to meet him, and he and I talked for fifteen minutes or so before parting ways. This morning was the first time in a long while that I wore hiking shorts and a short-sleeve shirt for our trek. We're headed for a high of 89F, and it was already 60F when we got outside for Becca's morning constitutional.
|This and the next 6: Prickly Pear Cactus flowers|
|Becca leading the way along the foothills trail|
|This got my hopes up that some Strawberry Hedgehogs might be blooming|
|My hopes were not dashed|
|A little early for these beauties to be blooming|
|Blooming right beside a Parry's Agave|
|This and the next 3: closer looks at the Strawberry Hedgehog flowers|
|White Tackstem flowers|
|The flank of Tortugas and the distant Organ Mountains|
|Ocotillo growing on a cliff|
|This and the next: Scott's Oriole|
|Pollen and pollinator|
I know I've said this before, but I'm going to say it again--I think that cactus blossoms are some of the most vivid and beautiful flowers in all of the natural world.
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