One of the most pleasant aspects of living close to the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum is being able to take a ten minute ride through the Saguaro forest and find almost unlimited opportunities for photography. At the present many of the cacti are in full bloom and I was able to take a few shots that I hope will help people who have never experienced the "desert" to realize this place is more than a pile of sand.
The cacti at the museum have decided to put on quite a show this year and all of these photos were taken within an hour of just walking around a small area within the grounds. I find it somewhat unusual that a plant that has the ability to go long periods without water and is very painful to touch ( I can vouch for this personally) produces such amazing flowers.
Most of the cacti do not bloom for very long and it is not unusual to see a blossom one day and not the next.
I love the colors and the symmetry and even the fact that most plants here have vicious thorns, a tactic that has allowed many of these plants to survive in this place that can be very, very harsh.
All of the pictures in this post are the result of my experimentation with different lenses and manual settings so I did not spend time identifying the plants. The great thing about photography is you are never done learning and changing equipment or light can cause a whole new set of challenges. Hope you enjoy the images.