Readers’ wildlife photos

November 21, 2022 • 8:00 am

Today we have the second batch of Arizona plant photos and landscapes sent by reader Bruce Cochrane (the first batch is here). 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.

Texas Prickly Pear (Opuntia lindheimeri) The taxonomy of this genus is a mess, with suggestions of their being multiple evolutionary origins of species (polyphyly) as well as extensive interspecific hybridization:

Prickly Poppy (Argemone pleiacantha):

And of course the Saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea), here in bloom:

Two of our favorite landmarks.

 Baboquivar Peak, which overlooks Buenos Aires and the only site for technical rock climbing in Arizona.

Ragged Top, at the heart of Ironwood Forest National Monument.

And finally, two human impacts, one historic and an unfortunate contemporary one. . . 

Petroglyph in Saguaro National Park West.

The Mexican Border:

2 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Listening to a Crime Pays but Botany Doesn’t podcast the other day, the guy being interviewed said, if I remember correctly, that glochidia on Opuntia have a role in water collection, that they trap water droplets. So the mean and nasty defense might have been an added bonus to their survival. I still find it amazing how some animals can eat Opuntia, glochidia and all. I had to remove a plant from an outdoor pen I kept a couple of rehabilitating box turtles in because they just about ate every bit of it.

    Love the petroglyph. I am always surprised that ancient artwork like this has survived the idiot tendencies towards mindlessly defacing such beauty.

  2. Very good. I did not know about possible interspecies hybrids in cactus. But that could be looked into by looking at chromosomes.

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