Hedgehog Cactus

There are many kinds of cactus around here besides the famous saguaros – prickly pears, barrel cacti, various kind of cholla. My favorite one is the hedgehog cactus (genus Echinocereus), and I couldn’t resist stopping to snap a couple photos of them while out on the Christmas Bird Count.

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They don’t grow more than a foot or two tall, but something about the little round clusters of stems is really aesthetically appealing for some reason. And in the spring they’re even more gorgeous (this is a photo I took a couple years ago)…

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Hooray for cacti and their big showy flowers. Just don’t ever try to pick them.