The title above is what our "Ranger Judge" (see post dated January 6, 2012) told us about plants and creatures of the desert. As for the plants: Below are photos and info about the new-to-us flora Jim and I are seeing in and near Tucson.
|Prickly pear cactus. It’s everywhere; people make jams, jellies and wine from it’s fruit. And as hard as Bev tries, she can't touch the flesh between the needles without getting stuck.|
|Barrel cactus. They they look a little like young saguaros, but don’t get beyond 6 feet tall; a saguaro can get to 50 feet.|
|The Paolo verde tree. Palo verde means “green stick” in Spanish, and these trees have green bark and very small leaves. During droughts they shed their leave and even smaller branches to conserve water.|
|Teddy Bear Cholla. From a distance they look soft. Again, Bev keeps trying to touch them unscathed but has not been successful. They are not soft.|
|Brittlebush. It’s everywhere. in early spring it's supposed to have a big display of yellow flowers.|