Along the Apache Trail (by The Nite Tripper)
This is a photograph that I took along Highway 88, better known as the “Apache Trail,” that winds its way through the Superstition Mountains to places like Tortilla Flats and beyond. The plant in the foreground is known as the “jumping cholla” cactus. It derives its name from the fact that its pieces “jump” onto passersby so that it can be propagated elsewhere. The only problem is that these cacti have vicious barbed spines that dig into your skin and are almost impossible to remove without tremendous pain. Anyone who has encountered these learn to appreciate these beautiful plants. In the evening sunlight, they appear to be soft and fuzzy from a distance which gives them the other name of “Teddy Bear Cholla.”
Many people inadvertently think of the Sonoran Desert as an inhospitable place with nothing but sand and rattlesnakes when, in fact, the opposite is true. The Sonoran Desert is home to the most diverse array of life second only to the Amazon Rain Forest.