The Superstition Mountains and Jumping Cacti.

I’m on a long trip out West and currently I am visiting the sites around the Phoenix area. Although I can’t compete with @Jake_Case_Photo, a native of these cacti climes, here’s my effort at the Superstitions, located a mere stone’s throw (if one had an exceptionally strong arm) northeast of Phoenix, Arizona.

Among the spiny inhabitants of this area, the Saguaro cactus stands tall. These cacti are the elderly statesmen of the plant world, living up to 200 years, and they only start to sprout their iconic arms around the age of 70. One could imagine them as the curmudgeonly old men of the desert, arms akimbo, grumbling about the young barrel cacti with their flashy flowers and lack of patience.

The Cholla cactus, or “jumping cactus,” (bottom right of frame) adds to the slapstick humor of the landscape. Get too close, and a segment of the cactus might “jump” onto you, as if to say, “Pay attention! I’m here, and I’m sharp!” It’s nature’s way of keeping the comedy alive, ensuring that visitors keep a respectful distance, or at least providing a good story for those who don’t.

Unfortunately, I have such a story. It didn’t seem funny at the time, but maybe you’ll get the humor of it.


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