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Posts Tagged ‘cactus flower photos’

And not a moment too soon. This winter has been too long, especially in the east. Even though Southern Arizona’s temperatures are running 7 to 10° above average, (see: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/03/21/1372266/-Cartoon-Animal-Nuz-243-Climate-Hope-Edition) I’m glad to have moved my sweaters to a less accessible place in our little casita.

The heat has also brought spring in an early rush. The fig trees have burst open leaves. Our patio poppies (volunteers from last year) are lush with golden orange flowers. The ocotillo are wrapped in their green cellophane-like leaves and their red bud tips are already providing food for verdants and goldfinches.

Our ocotillo provided cover for a clay pot in which ground doves built a nest. The fledgings (2?3?) left yesterday. All that remains is an untidy mix of twigs, feathers and bird droppings.

Yesterday’s Spring Equinox was a triple treat. Besides the arrival of spring parts of the globe were treated to a full solar eclipse as well as super big moons as it comes closest to the earth for the year.

So, if you’re still digging out or beginning to dig in the garden, here’s a glimpse of the Sonoran Desert’s spring. (All photos © SR Euston)

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Beauty is not a word one associates with contemporary art and literature. In fact, beauty is something of a pariah in esthetics generally. The ugly the grotesque the brutal the bizarre have cache. If art follows life, it does seem quaint to talk about beauty in this age of political upheaval, cultural relativism, raging consumerism, rampant technology, environmental tragedy.

But—democratically speaking—is not beauty in the eye of the beholder? The great nineteenth century lyric poet John Keats gave beauty its most ethereal meaning, “Beauty is truth, truth beauty”.

Finally, art is said to mirror nature. Nature can certainly be brutal, cruel, ugly, in human terms. But in the eyes of many, nature is also full of beauty, plain and simple beauty. In fact the kind of beauty that also attracts insects and birds, no strings attached. A beauty that is beyond ecology, beyond human construct. Well, maybe within a human construct that opens our minds to an infinity of mental mirrors reflecting our long evolutionary inheritance, emerging as we did as a species when the only truth was nature.

And somehow after a million years of inhabiting earth we humans can still find beauty in nature, even desert beauty in a parched land of thorns and spines, heat and dust. And some of us we will even agree with John Keats—beauty is after all truth. SRE (All photos © SR Euston)

 

 

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Photographer’s Note:  Their range stretches from the Canadian plains to Argentina. But they are indigenous only to the New World. The great saguaro is the icon  of the southwest deserts, but it occurs in numbers only in Arizona. The real cactus workhorses of the southwest are the cholla and the far-ranging prickly pear. Most of the time they look near death. But in Spring, the red or green or magenta  flowers of these tough ones are a bit like jewels among the thorns. Be careful—don’t lean over too far when checking out one of these winsome, beautiful flowers.  A failure of balance could be almost fatal. Tough and spiny and sunbeaten, the cactus flowers of the desert Spring are something else. Much else. Here’s a cactus sampler.

SRE

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Fearsome Pad

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Orange Cholla

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Green Cholla

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Magenta Flower—Beavertail Cactus

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Bright Faces—Mammalaria Cactus

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Faint Pink—Horticultural Cactus

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Four Magenta Suns

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