Organ Pipe National Park

Organ Pipe National Park

About Me

I purchased "Sadie''s House On Wheels "in late 2007 and loved traveling in a motor home so much that I went on the road full time in late 2008. I started writing this blog to help me remember all the wonder places I have been and it allows me to share those places with my family and friends. Summer of 2013 I decided to hang up the keys for a while and moved back into my stick house. After nearly two years, I am on the road again.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sticky stuff on the desert

I think the desert area around Ajo is one of the more interesting.  The landscape can change from extremely barren to very lush within a few yards depending on the terrain.  There is a nice variety of cactus, cholla being one of the more prolific, in the area.  

This field of cholla (teddy bear or jumping cholla) looks like it was planted. They are pretty evenly spaces.  Amazing they  even grow in the rocky, hard soil.  

Each one of the thorns on the cluster of cholla is sharp and some of the thorns are  barbed and hurt when they "bite".  They just seem to jump out and stick to you and will penetrate even the thickest of boots and heavy denim jeans.  Pieces break off easily and blow with the wind, thus the name jumping cholla.  

                                            Stick cholla.  They grow among the other cholla. 

Jumping cholla, stick cholla and ocotillo.  I think the ocotillo looks like some prehistoric plant.  Right after a rain, red blossoms appear on the very end.  There hasn't been much lately so there are no blossoms yet. 

 There are all sorts of other cactus in the same area. This is a type of fish hook barrel cactus. Note how the thorns are curved on the ends.

I'm not sure what this one is called, but it is very tiney nestled in the rocks for protection. 

  This is another barrel type cactus.  

Ok.  Why would I take a picture of dead cholla clumps on the rocks.  I thought the wind had blown them in the crevices but there were too many pieces floating around for this phenomune to be coinsodence. .  

Look closer.  How did the sticks get placed here?
A closer look and it appears there is a nest, most likely pack rats.  How did they get all those clumps up in the rocks without sticking themselves?  Who would want to mess with anything in that mess of cholla?  Natures defense.

When Sadie was with me, I was armed with needle nose plyers, a metal comb, and Sadie wore doggie boots.  Now days, I still arm myself with the plyers and comb, if I can remember them, because no matter how careful I am,  those little cholla seem to find me and just love to stick me.  Ouch!!  

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