the Arizona desert moves itself to sprout.
The ocatillo puts forth its first miniature green leaves.
Fairy Duster joins the party.
Pima Dynamite trails may be full of mountain bikes and power lines, but they go on and on despite humankind’s interference.
This preserve was saved from development by a champion named Arthur W. Decabooter. A successful doctor, he opened doors to which “cactus huggers” had previously been denied and served as chair of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve starting in 1994.
In our party of six, photographers go clicking, trying to capture everything that is beautiful beyond measure. Shrubby Deervetch looks eager.
The saguaro braces itself against the sky, eternally photogenic.
The ones with peepholes fascinate me.
The cause of the decay is bacterial necrosis. The amazing thing is it goes on and up, at least for some time, as beefy and strong as its hole-less neighbors.
The bark of the Palo Verde pops, grasshopper-chartreuse in the sharp sunlight.
Teddy-bear chollas swell, show off, display themselves, muscular arms on blackened stalks.
Fishhooks have retained their fruit but are so ready to bud out.
Quartz sparkles, scattered like treasure on either side of the trail.
Another first flower – does anyone know its name? No. Does it matter? The desert is so far beyond names. Let’s call this one purple-bloom and be done with it.
Close up, cacti are so severe. The thorns are actually modified leaves, and help the reduce water evaporation. It is also a fierce sort of armor, so different from the more gentle deciduous trees back east.
All saguaros are the same, yet different.
Kind of like those who hike the trails, appreciating the grandeur of the desert, and Dr. Arthur W. Decabooter, who dedicated himself to saving it. Thank you, Dr. Decabooter.