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Can you hug a cactus? Many of them seem cute, almost huggable. And some even have cute names, like "teddy bear cholla", or "queen of the night". Their blossoms are often magnificent, with a riot of colors and shapes varying from the incredibly ornate to the simply improbable. We feature some of them here, together with agaves, aloes, yuccas and other pointed plants. We recommend that you hug just the art. Both you and the prickly things will be happier. Digitography is made for flowers and plants. Take a look. Be sure and check our other galleries as well; they overlap a little.
For your convenience, we've placed only a few images on each page of this gallery. When you are ready, go to page 1 or 3 in this gallery, or use the tags at the top to view other galleries on our site and place your order.
First Blooms©. Some plants are oblivious to the seasons. Wintertime is supposed to be a period of rest and relaxation when they save themselves to shoot up and bloom in the warm spring. Aloes haven’t received the message. Here a lively aloe has chosen the bloom a brilliant orange in January and now has the nerve to stand brightly under the sun.
Garden Dragon©. This could be a bug’s eye-view of a gigantic prehistoric creature looming suddenly from behind the foliage. But this little lizard is really only a few inches long and is the friendly sort, living among the cactus flowers for protection. And not coincidentally, the garden dragon is no doubt enjoying the snacks that flutter toward him.
Ocotillo Inspectors©. The entire field has almost nothing dressing it up other than these strange thorny sticks and a few clusters of cholla. But from time to time in the summer, the monsoon rains bring sufficient moisture for those sticks to bloom and even green up a bit. Now the javelinas are out hunting for succulent roots and checking to be sure that everything is flowering beautifully. It is.
On Gossamer Wings
On Gossamer Wings©. Here a little iridescent blue-green humming bird, native to Arizona, is intent on catching some sweet nectar from a Baja fairy duster. This image is rare, and clearly shows the structure of the wings. Usually these critters are caught only with the mind’s eye as a blur flitting between flowers.
Orange Glow© shows a brilliant orange-flowered aloe blooming in front of the branches of an old mesquite. Perhaps the aloe is thinking of climbing steadily up to meet the top of the mesquite. In fact, the mesquite may be important as protection for the blooms against cold weather—for aloes have the unusual habit of blooming in the winter. But this guy is doing fine and showing off for you.
Perfect©. Trichocereus look at first like tiny versions of saguaros. They typically grow only two to three feet high and sometimes have multiple trunks and branches. But unlike their bigger brothers, the trichocereus can flower anywhere near their crown—and their flowers open wider than their entire trunk. Best of all, they can be covered in several brilliant colors. Perfect is like that: it is surrounded by blooms open as wide as your hand. Take a moment to enjoy the soft fragrance.
Powder-Puff©. This little flower is absolutely stunning and it wants to be enjoyed. But we sure can’t identify it. Perhaps it is the only one of its kind and it needs a little love.
Purple Passion©. Be careful where you walk! Here a small cactus squeezes between other cacti and the rocks it is growing from, blooming unexpectedly with an enormous four-inch wide blossom. It is tempting. Enjoy the beauty, but now be careful what you touch! This little guy is well-armed to defend itself against the unwary.
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One last comment: We know these images are tempting; they are also copyrighted. Downloading for printing or other copying is expressly forbidden.