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Cactus of the Southwest - Cactus Photographs

Updated on May 31, 2016

Photograph of the Stately Saguaro Cactus in Arizona

The stately saguaros proudly preside over the desert landscape.
The stately saguaros proudly preside over the desert landscape. | Source

Close Encounters With a Cactus

Like almost everyone growing up on the East coast, my close encounters with cacti consisted of seeing little dish gardens in green houses and meeting an occasional cactus at a friend’s house. I could never figure out the attraction to these unfriendly little plants. The cacti of the dish garden not only didn't flower, but they would stick you any chance they got, drawing blood if they could. They definitely did not appeal to me!

It was many years before I had the chance to see a “real” cactus in its natural desert landscape environment. When I did, I fell in love. This article is about cacti I’ve known and loved as we traveled through the southwest deserts in our RV.

Agave Seed Pods Photographed Against Blue Sky

Agave seed pods shoot high above the plant.
Agave seed pods shoot high above the plant. | Source

Standing by Agave at Big Bend

Standing next to an Agave at Big Bend, I felt shorter than my 5 feet.
Standing next to an Agave at Big Bend, I felt shorter than my 5 feet. | Source

The first real cacti that I met close up were in Big Bend National Park. The size of the cacti amazed me, and I couldn’t stop taking pictures of every cactus that I saw. As we drove through Texas in our motorhome, the landscape was dotted with vegetation. It was only when we finally arrived at Big Bend National Park and began walking the trails that we realized how large some of the cactus plants were.

While the agave is classified as a succulent, in my ignorance, I lumped it together with all the other huge, thorny plants that we found growing around Big Bend National Park and thought of it as another cactus.

Agave at Big Bend National Park, Texas

The Agave, a succulent, introduced itself to me at Big Bend National Park.  It was only when I stood next to it and looked at it eye-to-eye that I realized its size.
The Agave, a succulent, introduced itself to me at Big Bend National Park. It was only when I stood next to it and looked at it eye-to-eye that I realized its size. | Source

The Magnificent Saguaro Cactus

My first sight of a saguaro (pronounced suh-wah-roh) cactus was in the Sonoran Desert in Southern Arizona as we made our way towards Tucson. Saguaros dotted the hills here and there, and I couldn’t wait to get a closer view. When we finally did drive into Saguaro National Park, I was speechless! The amazing giants appeared everywhere, alone or in groups and in seemingly endless forests. Some were tall, dignified towers without branches while others stood comically with arms akimbo, reaching for the sky or pointing at some distant hill. Knowing that a saguaro cactus takes 40 years to reach a height of ten feet and doesn't begin sprouting branches until it's around 75, made it more awesome. Some of the 30 foot tall giants that we saw must have been over 100 years old!


The Saguaro Cactus Is so Magnificent! It's Hard to Stop Photographing!

This Saguaro cactus in the Sonora Desert of Arizona is probably well over 100 years old.
This Saguaro cactus in the Sonora Desert of Arizona is probably well over 100 years old. | Source

Ocotillo Cacti Are a Common Sight on The Desert Landscape

The Ocotillo Cactus grows in groups of straight branches reaching for the sky. When I first saw them in Arizona, it was during a dry spell in January, and they all looked gray and dead. However, a week or so after a rain, we noticed the stems turning green as they sprouted tiny green leaves up and down every branch. It was so delightful to see the feathery red blooms appear at the ends of each long branch, and sometimes, if we were lucky, we would see bright hummingbirds buzzing around the blooms!

Pictures of Ocotillo Cactus in Bloom

The Ocotillo sprouts leaves on its gray branches four or five days after rain and will bloom a few weeks later with feathery red blossoms that hummingbirds love.
The Ocotillo sprouts leaves on its gray branches four or five days after rain and will bloom a few weeks later with feathery red blossoms that hummingbirds love. | Source

Ocotillo Cactus Bloom Close Up

An Ocotillo Cactus will show its beautiful red blooms a week or two after a rain. Hummingbirds will soon be here to feed on them.
An Ocotillo Cactus will show its beautiful red blooms a week or two after a rain. Hummingbirds will soon be here to feed on them. | Source

Teddy Bear Cholla Sound Cute, But...

Teddy Bear Cholla are found over the southwest, sometimes alone, but often in large congregations. When the sun hits them, they look so deceivingly fuzzy and soft that it's not hard to see why they were named "Teddy Bear". However, I learned the hard way that their other name, Jumping Cholla, is well deserved! I inadvertently backed into one while photographing some wildflowers, and spent the next 15 minutes whimpering in pain as my husband removed thorns from my, ahem..., tender flesh. The thorns don't really jump, but all it takes is a light brush with the plant, and you'll have a painful reminder not to invade the cholla's space!

Picture of Teddy Bear Cholla - A Common sight in the Southwest Deserts

Teddy Bear Chollas look fuzzy and harmless, but don't be fooled! Their thorns will stick fast even pierce your sneakers!
Teddy Bear Chollas look fuzzy and harmless, but don't be fooled! Their thorns will stick fast even pierce your sneakers! | Source

Close-up of a Teddy Bear Cholla in Bud

Teddy Bear Cholla Cactus with buds.
Teddy Bear Cholla Cactus with buds. | Source

The Yucca Blossom is a Show Stopper

It was common to see the Yucca wherever we went in the southwest, but the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge in the Rio Grand Valley at the southern tip of Texas was abloom with them when we visited. Although the Yucca is not in the cactus family (it's an Asparagaceae), I didn't know that until much later. To me, any plant in the Southwest that was out to draw blood must be a cactus! The pink tinged buds are just as beautiful as the striking creamy white blossom heads that eventually bloom with a profusion of flowers.

Yucca in Bud and Bloom

A Yucca in bud at the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge in South Texas.
A Yucca in bud at the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge in South Texas. | Source
The Yucca bursts into bloom.
The Yucca bursts into bloom. | Source

The Yucca's Beautiful Bloom and Striking Seed Pods

Yucca seed pods are silhouetted against the sun as they shoot high into the air on older plants.
Yucca seed pods are silhouetted against the sun as they shoot high into the air on older plants. | Source

Staghorn Cholla Blooms

The Staghorn Cholla was just coming into bloom in March as we headed out the dirt roads towards Castle Dome. I watched closely to see if I could spot the flowers that were usually on the sunny side and towards the bottom of the plant. As the whether was getting warmer, there were other plants beginning to flower and leaf out, making it difficult to have a clear view of what was on the ground. I definitely did not want to step on a rattler or some other venomous critter, so I stepped VERY carefully in my photography expeditions!

Staghorn Cholla Cactus in Arizona

Staghorn Cholla near Imperial Dam Recreation Area in southern Arizona started bloomin in March while we were camping nearby.
Staghorn Cholla near Imperial Dam Recreation Area in southern Arizona started bloomin in March while we were camping nearby. | Source

Flower of the Staghorn Cactus

The flowers of the staghorn cactus were sometimes to hidden by branches of the cactus, but I found a few blooms by looking carefully.
The flowers of the staghorn cactus were sometimes to hidden by branches of the cactus, but I found a few blooms by looking carefully. | Source

Organ Pipe Cactus at Organ Pipe National Monument

Organ Pipe National Monument was a desert garden the year that we were there. Several rain storms in January provided just enough moisture for flowers to bloom and the desert was turning green. Organ Pipe cacti only grow in a small portion of the southern Sonora desert. They are amazing in their own way as the tall stalks point skyward. They are the second largest cactus (saguaro is the largest) and will reach heights of 23 feet when mature. Here and there in the desert were the skeletons of old cacti looking like driftwood on the desert floor.

Organ Pipe Cactus in Organ Pipe National Monument

Organ pipe cactus is seldom seen outside of Organ Pipe National Monument in Arizona.
Organ pipe cactus is seldom seen outside of Organ Pipe National Monument in Arizona. | Source

Review this Hub's Cactus Collection Here:

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Yucca in bud.Yucca in bloom.Seed pods of Yucca.Ocotillo cactus.Ocotillo blossom.Saguaro cactus.Saguaro cacti Staghorn cactus.Staghorn cactus blossom.Teddy bear Cholla cactus.Teddy bear cholla in bud.AgaveAgave seed pods.Organ pipe cactus.
Yucca in bud.
Yucca in bud. | Source
Yucca in bloom.
Yucca in bloom. | Source
Seed pods of Yucca.
Seed pods of Yucca. | Source
Ocotillo cactus.
Ocotillo cactus. | Source
Ocotillo blossom.
Ocotillo blossom. | Source
Saguaro cactus.
Saguaro cactus. | Source
Saguaro cacti
Saguaro cacti | Source
Staghorn cactus.
Staghorn cactus. | Source
Staghorn cactus blossom.
Staghorn cactus blossom. | Source
Teddy bear Cholla cactus.
Teddy bear Cholla cactus. | Source
Teddy bear cholla in bud.
Teddy bear cholla in bud. | Source
Agave
Agave | Source
Agave seed pods.
Agave seed pods. | Source
Organ pipe cactus.
Organ pipe cactus. | Source

Now You May Understand Why

I Love Cactus of the Desert Landscape

The cacti that I photographed in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California were a far cry from the cactus dish gardens of my experience. Cacti in their natural habitat were imposing and majestic, comical and beautiful. The cacti of the desert landscape survive the harsh conditions of drought and summer heat. They provide food and shelter to wildlife and, at certain times of the year, decorate the desert with their charming flowers and fruit.

Silhouetted against the blue sky or red rocks, cacti have a beauty and grace that belies their toughness and resilience. I hope you've enjoyed my collection of cactus photographs as much as I've enjoyed revisiting some of my favorite places through these pictures.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Copyright ©2011 Stephanie Henkel

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    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
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      Stephanie Henkel 2 years ago from USA

      Vocalcoach - We are currently camping in Quartzsite, AZ -- not too far from the California border. Here, the saguaro cactus dot the landscape along with many other varieties of cactus. We certainly enjoy seeing the many different plants that grow in the desert --such a change from the east coast! Thanks for reading and for your comments!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
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      Stephanie Henkel 2 years ago from USA

      Jodah - I love the different cacti that we encounter while traveling in the southwestern U.S. The contrast with the rugged terrain and brilliant blue sky is often spectacular, and I particularly enjoy it when we are fortunate enough to see cactus in bloom. Thanks for your comments!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
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      Stephanie Henkel 2 years ago from USA

      Ralph Deeds - I'm so glad you enjoyed my Cactus photographs. Thanks for stopping in and commenting!

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 2 years ago

      Beautiful photos and good info.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Wonderful photos and information on cacti and succulents. I do like these plants and have a few in my garden. My wife doesn't really understand what I see in them, but when they flower it is usually spectacular. Voted up.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Magnificent photos! Educational and very interesting hub. My sister lives in Joshua Tree, Ca. (high desert) where both Yucca plants and Joshua Trees grow. I appreciate these natural Indian Yuccas much more after reading your marvelous hub Stephanie.

      My pleasure to vote up, and across, excluding funny. Also sharing. Thanks.

      Audrey

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
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      Stephanie Henkel 2 years ago from USA

      AllieRambles - I'm so glad that you enjoyed my cactus photographs! Last winter we also camped at Anza Borrego. It was a little early for wildflowers, but we certainly enjoyed the scenery and the wonderful sunsets and sunrises.

    • AllieRambles profile image

      AllieRambles 2 years ago from Bay Area, California

      Just Amazing!!

      I grew up going camping in the Springtime to Anza Borrego in Southern CA. The blossoms are just amazing at that time of year!

      Thank you for bringing me back to my cherished childhood with these amazing plants!

      ~Allie

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
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      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Nolimits Nana - I'm so glad you enjoyed my cactus photographs. Thanks for the read and your comment.

    • Nolimits Nana profile image

      Nicolette Goff 4 years ago from British Columbia

      Awesome photos!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
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      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      juneaukid -Big Bend National Park was one of the first places we visited when we first began RVing, and I was amazed at the variety and size of the cacti there. It's a special treat to see some of them in bloom - glad you got to enjoy the ocotillo blooming! Thanks for stopping in to comment.

    • juneaukid profile image

      Richard Francis Fleck 4 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      You have created a magnificent hub. One of my favorites is the ocotillo that I have seen blooming in March at Big Bend National Park in Texas.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
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      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Brett.Tesol - Some cacti produce edible fruit, others have parts that are peeled and cooked. I have eaten nopalitos (the pads of a prickly pear cactus) in a restaurant, but I don't think I would want to go out and pick my own. Thanks for you comments, and thanks for sharing this article!

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 4 years ago from Thailand

      Wow, you have a real knack with a camera! Wonderful photos, I had not idea they grew so big. Apparently many of them are a tasty food in Asia too, but I just don't know which to 'pick'.

      Thanks for SHARING.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
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      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Thanks so much, Gail! I was quite surprised and pleased to win Hub of the Day for this hub. The recognition gives me added incentive to do some other photo galleries -- soon, I hope!

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 4 years ago from South Carolina

      Congratulations on earning another Hub of the Day award. I loved this hub when it was first published and am glad to see it get the recognition it deserves!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
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      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Arusho - Glad you enjoyed my cactus photographs! Thanks for the read.

    • arusho 4 years ago

      Beautiful pictures, I now have another reason to love cactuses!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
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      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Earthbound - When visiting the Saguaro National Park I attended a Ranger talk about medicinal uses of native plants, and I was amazed at the usefulness of things like cactus and other plants of the desert. It's interesting to know that people of the Philippines are taking advantage of the native plants. Thank you for sharing and for visiting my hub!

    • earthbound1974 profile image

      earthbound1974 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      My elder brother is the green thumb in the family. He plants everything including cacti.

      Here in the Philippines, some are even used for medication.

      Thanks for sharing, Ms. Steph. :D

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
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      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Jenw3880 - Good luck with your cactus garden. It sounds like a fun landscaping project.

    • jenw3880 profile image

      jenw3880 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Love cactus! I have a cactus garden myself and am trying to collect as many kinds as I can.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
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      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Suzettenaples - I'm so glad that my photographs were able to send you the message of beauty and serenity that I feel when I'm near these beautiful cactus in the deserts. Thanks so much for your lovely comments!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
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      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      CassyLu - We visited Joshua Tree National Park two years ago, and loved seeing those unique trees and beautiful scenery of the area. Now you have me curious about the Joshua Tree National Forest! I'll look forward to seeing pictures of your Christmas Joshua Tree. :)

    • CassyLu1981 profile image

      CassyLu1981 4 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

      Stephanie - The Joshua Tree is NOT a cactus but it sure does remind me of one and not of a tree! Living so close to the Joshua Tree national forest was neat. Stay tuned to my hub pages for pictures of our Christmas Joshua Tree :)

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
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      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Denise - You sound as if you've had some personal interaction with the Teddy Bear cholla! Yes, we've had some wonderful times exploring the deserts of the Southwest. I wish we were there now! Thanks for stopping by!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
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      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Time2rite - Though many of the towns have grown, the deserts in between are the same now as they were in the 1980s and cacti flourish. Thank you for stopping in to read and comment.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker suzettetaos 4 years ago from Taos, NM

      These photographs are just magnificent! I had no idea there were so many types, sizes, and blooms of cacti. This is a wonderful tribute to the southwest section of our nation which I must visit someday. There is such beauty and serenity in these photos. Voted up! and beautiful!

    • time2rite profile image

      time2rite 4 years ago from Navarre, Fl, USA

      I enjoyed this hub immensely as it brought back memories of my trip to California by road from Tennessee in the mid-80's. We lived in California for over 7 years, and I still vividly remember the cacti that littered the deserts there and on our trip out. You have shared some very interesting facts on cacti and the pictures are beautiful. Thank you for sharing your experience with us!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

      well deserved hub of the day, Stephanie-fascinating info here. I'm drawn to the Teddy Bear also, and it was an interesting fact that there is nothing cuddly about them!

      Thanks for sharing-your adventures look way too fun!

      BTW--if you are still in NC and available on Feb 2 I'm off that day. We can meet someplace in Eliz City??? Call me. :)

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
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      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Eddiecarrara - I was quite excited to see cactus flowers. My only regret is that we never saw the saguaro in bloom. One day... Thanks for your comments!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
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      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Kris Heeter - I know what you mean. I find the sizes of the saguaro and some of the other cacti just amazing!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
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      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      CasseyLu -Thanks for your comments! How could I have ignored the Joshua Tree - is it a cactus?

    • eddiecarrara profile image

      Eddie Carrara 4 years ago from New Hampshire

      Hello Stephanie, these are some awesome photos. I have been out west a few times and took a few snapshots of cacti but never saw them flowering. We have yucca that grow here in the northeast, but they are very small because of the cold winters, I can't believe they survive the winter,lol. Good hub and congrats on hub of the day :)

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 4 years ago from Indiana

      Very nice photos! Some of these are amazing in size (this comment coming from a mid-west gal who only has seen small desk top cacti in person - LOL)

    • CassyLu1981 profile image

      CassyLu1981 4 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

      Excellent photos!!! When we lived at Fort Irwin (middle of the desert in California) we took our Christmas pictures with a decorated Joshua Tree. I love your photos. Thanks for sharing :)

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
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      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Marcy Goodfleisch - Whenever we come back to Arizona, I feel a sense of homecoming - I do love the desert! Thanks for the comments and your votes!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
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      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      DzyMsLizzy - I think you're right about the agave being used to make tequila -- do you have a recipe? :) Yes, the incident with the cholla is a lot funnier now than it was when my hubby was trying to pull out the thorns!

      Thanks much for your interesting comments! I will have to look up the video you mentioned.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
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      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Homesteadbound - How neat that you cultivated your own cactus garden when you were young! Haha...the agave was tall next to me, but I AM short! :) Thanks for stopping by to read and comment!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
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      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Pstraubie - Have a wonderful time in Texas and Arizona with your sister! I'm sure you'll see many cacti and succulents - just observe them from a safe distance! :)

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
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      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Thank you Gryphin, for you lovely comment!

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

      Beautiful and informative! Voted up and interesting. I love traveling through Arizona - your hub reminds me why.

    • gryphin423 profile image

      gryphin423 4 years ago from Florida

      Amazing as always, thank you for sharing these beautiful cacti!! The pictures are awesome!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
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      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Claudia Tello - The yucca plant in flower did amaze me with its gigantic bud and bloom. Growing up on the east coast, I never saw many of these plants before, and I loved getting a close up look and a chance to photograph them. Thanks so much for your comments!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
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      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      ThePracticalMommy - Glad you enjoyed my adventures with the cacti! I have a feeling most people though it was pretty funny when I backed into the cholla... :) We do enjoy our travels, especially to the western regions of the U.S. where we haven't been before. Thanks so much for the read and for your comments!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
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      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Swetankraj - Thank you for your kind comments. I'm glad you enjoyed the cactus photographs!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
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      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Mary615 - Cacti must be the perfect landscaping plant as you seldom have to worry about watering. They do still provide food and shelter for birds and other wildlife.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
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      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      SHolland - Thanks so much for the read and your enthusiastic comments,votes and share!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
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      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      RedElf - Thanks so much for your kind words. These cactus photographs are some of my favorites, and I was pleased to share them on this hub! I'm so pleased that it was chosen Hub of the Day

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
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      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      RTalloni - I have to admit that this photo of the Saguaro is one of my very favorites as it really captures the way I feel about the Southwest. Thanks so much for your detailed comments!

    • Majlind profile image

      Majlind 4 years ago

      it's a devill flower

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      thanks for sharing...especially the pictures...i am going to texas to visit my sister and we are heading to arizona. hopefully we will have the opportunity to see some of these majestic cacti...prickly little critters, not so little actually...but they have so much character...

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 4 years ago from Texas

      I have loved cacti since I was a young girl. I used to go out to the pasture and dig them up to grow closer to the house. Although prickly I truly love them.

      You have created a beautiful of cacti and succulents. I was amazed at how tall that agave was... it did make you look short.

      Congratulations on hub of the day!

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 4 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Congratulations on HOTD! Well deserved!

      These are awesome photos, and it is a treat to see photos by someone who knows what they are doing with a camera.

      Agave--isn't that what they use to make tequila?

      Sorry about your--um--'brush' with the cholla...(snicker--that kind of story is always amusing when it happens to someone else, right?) It amazes me that there are animals who can eat these vicious plants without harm.

      Have you seen the YouTube video of a poor little kitten making the "acquaintance" of a potted cactus? It's sad and funny at the same time.

      Voted up across the board.

    • Claudia Tello profile image

      Claudia Tello 4 years ago from Mexico

      You have some amazing pictures here! I enjoyed having a look at all of them, especially the 4th one with the beautiful agave and the one with the red flowered yucca. I have a yucca in my garden but it has never looked as beautiful as yours. What a nice trip to make! Thanks for sharing your high quality photos.

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image

      Marissa 4 years ago from United States

      Stunning photography, Stephanie! You really have a talent! I loved reading your real life adventures with these cacti. Some day I hope to do some travelling and see such awesome sights as these. Congrats on the Hub of the Day!

    • Swetankraj profile image

      Swetank Raj 4 years ago from India

      Great hub with an excellent pictures. Really those catus are great and i really liked your review. As one of user also said i also even unknown that cactus is also called Ocotillo.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      Congrats for Hub of the Day. I enjoyed this Hub very much. We grow some cacti in F. Florida, I always enjoy them. Don't have to water them as much as the other plants in my yard!

    • sholland10 profile image

      Susan Holland 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Great hub and absolutely gorgeous cacti pictures!! Voting up, beautiful, awesome, interesting, and sharing!!

    • Don Simkovich profile image

      Don Simkovich 4 years ago from Pasadena, CA

      Terrific pictures! You really capture the beauty of the desert.

    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 4 years ago from Canada

      Gorgeous photos, Steph! You have captured some breathtaking scenery, and displayed them beautifully in a great hub! You certainly deserved Hub of the Day! Congratulations!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      Neat hub of the day with really nice photos of the southwest's bounty. I especially love the first Saguaro shot's angle (thumbnails) and how the sky seems to be racing behind the hill. The color play in this photo is fabulous. Congrats on Hub of the Day!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
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      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Faruksohel - Thanks so much for your comment!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
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      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Tammyswallow - Thanks for the read. All of these nice comments are inspirational!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
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      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      f - Thanks for the interesting bit of trivia!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
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      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Dahlia Flower - So glad you enjoyed the pictures and found the information useful. If they name roads after it, the ocotillo cactus must grow in your area. They aren't much to look at until they start getting green and the feather red flowers bloom. Thanks for the read!

    • Dahlia Flower profile image

      Dahlia Flower 4 years ago from Canada

      I enjoyed this article and your humor. The photographs are really good. Thanks for all the information. For instance, I didn't know that a cactus is called Ocotillo. I've been on Ocotillo Road -- which goes forever -- in Southern Metro Phoenix but I had no idea it was named after a cactus.

    • 4 years ago

      Great photos! Well done on being the Hub for the Day.

      (PS: I like the name of FDR's Vice President John Nance Garner: 'Cactus Jack'.)

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Your photos are outstanding! I love this hub. It is stunning. Thanks for sharing these and I look forward to many more. So well done.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
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      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Brsmom68 - I love the many shapes and sizes of cacti, and feel fortunate that I was able to view and photograph cactus flowers. Thanks for your comments and your vote!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
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      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      WD Curry - Those teddy bears did jump up and get me - right in a most delicate location! Now I'm much more careful before I back up without looking. :) Thanks so much for stopping by to comment and share!

    • brsmom68 profile image

      Diane Ziomek 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      Congratulations on Hub of the Day! Very interesting information about cacti. They are beautiful when in bloom. Voted up and interesting!

    • WD Curry 111 profile image

      WD Curry 111 4 years ago from Space Coast

      Your photos are excellent. I lived in Tucson as a boy, and my Mom was born in El Paso. This has special meaning for me, and I am glad I came by. Those teddy bears will jump up and come after you! I spent a few long sessions with Mom, and her needle and tweezers.

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      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      mijdgulley354 - Well, I'm so glad you found me this time around! We've often admired the creative and beautiful landscaping in Arizona that uses cacti and other desert plants. How fun to observe the quail close up! Thanks for sharing your experience.

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      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Carozy - Thank you! I love to see cacti in bloom and feel fortunate to have been in the desert at the right time to get some photographs of cactus blooms. I've never had much luck growing them as house plants except for one fantastic Christmas Cactus. Thanks for for your comments!

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      mljdgulley354 4 years ago

      Stephanie, I don't know how I missed this hub but glad it came back around. I loved going out and seeing the different cacti when we lived in AZ. My son had the barrel cactus as well as Ocotilla, Yucca and Staghorn growing in his yard. We loved it when the Quail would come out in the morning to feed.

    • carozy 4 years ago

      Congratulations on getting Hub of the Day! My roommate loves cacti and we have quite a collection on our back porch. Every once in a while when one blooms, in it goes on to our kitchen table. How lucky you've been to capture cacti in their natural habitat and get pics of them in bloom.

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      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Sunshine - Good to see you bringing your sunshine to my hub! Thanks for the good wishes and for your comments!

      Melovy - You are right, the blue sky of the southwest is very close to the color of my kitchen in my kitchen makeover hub! :) Thanks for the comments!

      alocsin - Seeing the many different cacti of the Arizona deserts is definitely worth a trip! Thanks for your comment!

      SJmorningsun25 - I love photographing the cacti in the southwest, and was so pleased (and surprised!) to have this hub recognized as Hub of the Day! Thanks for your comments and your votes!

      Wesman Todd Shaw - I think that the Saguaro is my favorite, too. Their human-like silhouettes do make you feel as if they hold the ghosts of cowboys past. Thanks for stopping by to comment!

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      Wesman Todd Shaw 4 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      I think I'll give my vote to the Peyote as most beautiful, but one shouldn't expect me to appreciate the great American "machine."

      I guess it's the Saguaro Cactus that looks so much like people standing like frozen zombies in the desert on the highways of the great South Western deserts.

      I've had fried cactus before dining with Mexican American families, and it tastes pretty darn good too!

    • SJmorningsun25 4 years ago

      Fantastic photos! Thanks for sharing with us your love for cacti. Congrats on the Hub of the Day!

      Voted up, beautiful, and interesting, and shared.

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      alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Wonderful photos. If I ever get to Arizona, I'll need to go on a cactus tour. Voting this Up and Beautiful.

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      Yvonne Spence 4 years ago from UK

      Beautiful photos Stephanie! And congrats on Hub of the Day! (And see, that beautiful blue sky is the colour of your kitchen walls!:-))

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      Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Hi Stephanie! Beautiful photos and interesting article! Congratulations on Hub Of The Day!:)

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      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      DeborahNeyens - I'm so glad you enjoyed my cactus photographs! Thank you for the well wishes and for visiting my hub!

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      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Ssat - The cactus of the Southwest are perfect subjects for photographing, especially when they are framed by blue sky and beautiful mountains. Thank you for your lovely comments!

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      Deborah Neyens 4 years ago from Iowa

      Beautiful photographs, and interesting, too. Congratulations on Hub of the Day!

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      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Alinamassy - I'm so glad you enjoyed my Cactus photographs! I had a wonderful time photographing cactus during our visits to the Southwest, and I enjoy sharing the pictures. Thanks for visiting my hub and for your comments!

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      alinamassy 4 years ago from India

      I really enjoyed looking at the photos and your hub so interesting, thank you for sharing this. !!!! cry on @@@###

    • ssat profile image

      ssat 4 years ago

      Hi Stephanie, the photos are just awesome, you brought the beauty out of cactus in your photography.

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      Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

      Hi Peggy - I'm sure you get to see many beautiful landscapes in your travels. Organ Pipe National Monument is somewhat off the beaten path, but the year we visited, the yellow Mexican poppies were in bloom, and it was amazing. Thanks so much for your comment and your votes!

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      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Stephanie,

      This is a gorgeous hub filled with wonderful examples of the different types of cactus, succulents and the like. The only place you mentioned that I have not yet had the pleasure of visiting is the Organ Pipe National Monument but obviously have seen that type of cactus in other locales. This should definitely be a winner in the contest! All votes up except funny.

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      Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

      Stephaniedas - I'm so glad that my photo gallery of cactus and the desert landscape gave you a new perspective! Thanks so much for taking the time to visit so many of my hubs! I'm also becoming a great fan of yours!

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      Stephanie Das 5 years ago from Miami, US

      Like you, I am from the East coast and never really "got" the whole cactus thing, but seeing it through your eyes has made me appreciate them more.

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      Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

      Hyphenbird - Your comments mean a lot to me as I admire your photography a lot! Those "fluffy" cacti are definitely meaner than they look, as I'm sure you know from your trip. But they are beautiful to see and photograph. Thanks so much for visiting my hub and for your comments!

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      Brenda Barnes 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      Your Hub is spectacular. The majestic saguaro is gorgeous. The lighting and composition is perfect. And some of those small cacti just are fluff balls. Years ago some friends and I drove from Tennessee all the way out there. I fell in love with the scenery and the desert in general. I would love to be an RV gypsy.

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      Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

      Hi Simone - Like many people who grew up among the forests and greenery of the east, I am fascinated by the plants and beauty of the desert, and I'm slowly learning about them. There's much to learn! I'm glad that this article contained some new information for you. Thanks so much for visiting and for your comments!

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      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      While I really enjoyed looking at the photos, I also learned a LOT from this Hub and have come away appreciating desert landscapes and fauna more than ever! Thank you so much for broadening my horizons a bit :D

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      Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

      Femmeflashpoint - Thank you for sharing some of your personal stories about your mother and cacti! I'm so glad you liked my cactus photographs - thanks for stopping by to visit and comment!

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      Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

      Oceansunsets - Thank you so much for your kind words. I think one reason I love to photograph cacti and the desert landscape is because, growing up on the east coast, I discovered it so late. Even after many wonderful trips to the southwest, I am still in awe of the vast beauty. Thanks so much for stopping in to view my hub and leave your comments!

    • femmeflashpoint 5 years ago

      Stephanie - wow! This is such a great photo collection!

      You "RV People" get to do the coolest things and visit the coolest places, lol! I'm so happy you share the discoveries with us!

      When my parents relocated to Texas from North Carolina, I was introduced to some cacti (if that's how it's said for plural) my first trip here.

      And, by the time my parents moved from the city of Fort Worth to the lakeside in Granbury, my mother had come down with cactus-fever.

      She was an avid gardener, and had the things stragetically planted all over the place throughout her yard.

      Every time I see one, I can't help but smile and think of the mid-western farm girl growing her cacti gardens.

      You did a great job with the photos and the explanations of what's what. I loved your cactus tour. :)

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      Paula 5 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Stephanie, this hub is amazing! I truly love cacti, and have grown my own from seeds my husband gave me once. We lived in Arizona for just one year and visited it many times as we have family there. I absolutely love the beauty of the Arizona desert, there is nothing else like it. Your photos are truly wonderful, you are quite the photographer! You captured these lovely specimens very well. Thanks for sharing the beauty.

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      ehasert 5 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      We settled in the desert bcuz we love the views. When we come back from any trips, we FEEL like this is home now! Mostly bcuz of the saguaro & other cactus. It just feels right to be here now!Thnx for posting this article.

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      Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

      Movie Master - I do love the desert landscape, especially in early mornings or later afternoon when the sun casts that special light. Thanks so much for your comment and for visiting my hub!

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      Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

      Joan Whetzel - I'm so glad that you enjoyed the pictures, and hope you will visit some of my other RVing hubs. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

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      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      These cactus are absolutely beautiful and your hub so interesting, thank you for sharing.

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      Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

      Estelle - I love the Saguaro best of all! It is a virtual supermarket and hotel for wildlife! I checked out the book, and it looks like a great kids' book to add to your collection. I'm sure you have many great cactus photographs in your collection, too! Thanks again for visiting!

    • Joan Whetzel 5 years ago

      Wow, what amazing pictures. THis is amazing

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      ehasert 5 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      I fell in love with the many different cacti we ran across also. In fact, I started a book collection of children's books about the different ones. My favorite is Cactus Hotel, which shows how the cactus is food & homes for many creatures. See website -http://www.brendazguiberson.com/books/cactus.php

      Also, I got excited when I learned that the saquaro is only found in the sonoran desert. No other continent has anything like it! That is neat!

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      Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

      Vinaya - I'm glad you enjoyed the pictures. I have more conscientious about giving a title to each photo that relates to my hub as well as attributing the source to myself at my profile page. It all helps! Thanks for stopping in to view and comment!

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      Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

      Wonderful pictures, I felt like visiting a botanical garden. I learned something from this hub such as giving a title to the photo capsule and framing the photographs.

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      Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

      Amurbach - No, Arizona is anything but flat and barren. The landscape of the deserts are so beautiul, and the state itself is so diverse. It seems that Arizona has everything but an ocean! :) We don't live there full time, but love to spend time RVing in Arizona! It's a beautiful state. Thanks for stopping by to read and comment, and thanks so much for sharing my hub!

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      amurbach 5 years ago from Arizona

      Nice pictures Stephanie. I too live in Arizona and your pictures make our desert look even more beautiful. Who said our state was flat and barren? Thanks for sharing and I look forward to sharing your hub on Facebook.

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      Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

      Hi Gail - I definitely learned a lesson to be more careful after backing into that cholla cactus! This was a fun hub for me to put together. The photographs bring back some wonderful memories of our early RV trips to the deserts of the southwest. Thanks for stopping by to comment and vote and for your well wishes.

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      Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

      Acc12 - The landscapes of the southwestern deserts is so different from the terrain in the east where I grew up and lived most of my life. I'm still amazed and fascinated by the cactus, the rocks and the ruggedness. I'm glad you enjoyed my photographs. Thanks for stopping by to comment.

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      Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

      Stunning photo gallery with some very interesting facts about cacti. I had no idea they grew so big or took so many years to grow to their full size.

      I also love how you personalized this hub with stories about getting pricked while you took the photos.

      Voted up across the board because I laughed when your husband had to help remove the prickly thorns from your "ahem...tender flesh." Know it wasn't polite to laugh when you were in pain, but the way you wrote about was irresistibly funny.

      Good luck in the contest. This is certainly a worthy first entry.

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      acc12 5 years ago

      Just another reason why I need to visit Texas! Your hub was so informative and the pictures stunning!

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      Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

      Pamela - It's always a challenge to capture the beauty of a vast landscape like the desert or a mountain scene. Thank you for your kind comments!

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      Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

      Your cactus picture are beautiful. It is amazing at how beautiful the desert can be. You did a wonderful job in taking these photos.

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      Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

      Diogees - Good point - I didn't want to get into the botanical differences, but I made a couple of changes in wording that will help. Cacti, succulents or asparagaceae, they are all beautiful in the southwest deserts. Thanks for your comment!

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      diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Hi guys. Great hub and photos. Careful with some of the plants that resemble cactus but are actually Succulents or Asparagaceae (Agave and Yucca). It really doesn't affect the quality and joy of your hub. I lived in Mexico for 20 years and had a cactus (etc) collection...Bob

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