Readers’ wildlife photos

October 21, 2022 • 8:00 am

Today’s photos feature plants, and come from reader Bruce Cochrane. His captions and IDs are indented, and click on the photos to enlarge them.

As promised, here are some photos of plants and their flowers (and some landmarks) taken over the years in the vicinity of Tucson, more specifically from Ironwood Forest National Monument to the north, Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge to the south, and Organ Pipe National Park to the west.

First from Organ Pipe:

Organ Pipe cactus (Stenocereus thurberi):

Senita cactus (Pachycereus schottii). These are found only in the Senita Basin, just north of the Mexican border. Despite their similarity in appearance, these and Organ Pipes have an estimated divergence time of 11 miilion years:

Next, some ubiquitous roadside plants, taken at multiple locations in the area:

Brittlebush (Encelia farinosa):

California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica):

Fairy Duster (Calliandra eriophylla):

Hedgehog Cactus (Echunocerus sp). There are over seventy species that occur in the desert southwest:

Jumping Cholla (Cylindropuntia fulgida) [JAC: I once fell into one of these cacti by accident at night, and they spent a LONG time pulling the spines out of me with pliers.]

Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens):

7 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. How beautiful the plants of the desert landscape! Wonderful photos. Never having been to the southwest, I can only live vicariously. The closest I can get is the dry regions of missouri like the glades in the Ozarks with the Opuntia humifusa or O. Macrorhiza, whose glochids I had to remove last night when carelessly touching a fruit.

  2. Very nice showing of the diversity of desert plants. Among them, I most respect the cholla cactus. I had learned to walk among them with great care since they can punish you for even brushing up against one.

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