Monday, April 20, 2009

Natural Beauties

I never would have thought the desert could be so beautiful and colorful. Every time we go down to Arizona I am amazed by the variety and color of the plant life there. It is incredible. Here are a few samples from our latest trip.

I believe this is prickly pear in bloom. Look how the tops of the paddles (I don't know what they're really called) are filled with a line of buds. The color is amazing. I didn't photoshop any of the colors on these pictures.

Here's some tiny little red buds on one of the cacti we saw.

This is the whole plant that the previous picture is from. I zoomed in on a leaf just left of center low on the plant.

This beauty was growing with lots of others along the side of the highway.

And here's a delicate yellow one. The needles on this cactus were longer than the other one I called prickly pear. I don't know if it's a variation of prickly pear, or something entirely different. I need to read a book on Arizona plant life.

And here's the whole plant.

A close up of the fuscia blossom of the prickly pear above.

And one of the cutest brother/sister pairs we know - Mark and Beth - Lloyd's niece and nephew, who kept us entertained on our trip.
Later today or tomorrow I'll post pictures from the Hoover Dam, Las Vegas, and the aquarium at the Mandalay Bay Hotel on the Strip.

Home Again

Got home half an hour ago. Will write more when I get my pictures downloaded. Had a lovely vacation but a looooong drive home.