PHOENIX — Citing everything from grazing to insects, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Monday granted endangered species protection to two cacti found in Arizona.
Some people seek wealth. Others search for the meaning of life. Bob Cardell? He’s on a quest for yet another quirky cactus.
These cactus blooms at Saguaro Park East are just a sample of the desert's visual feast.
The wildflowers of spring have long since withered away - but this month's monsoon rains have helped nurture a colorful crop of summer desert blooms.
The sun sets in Saguaro National Park West July 10, 2001.
Two men sought by national park officials who may have knowledge of recent vandalism along a popular Tucson hiking trail came forward Tuesday.
Yellow-orange caltrops are also called summer poppies. These were in the Tucson Mountains.
Barrel cactus blooms can be either red-orange or green-yellow.
Pincushion cacti flowers are brilliant pink.
A trip into the Tucson Mountains west of the city brings into view hillsides that are uncharacteristically green for this time of year, thanks to bountiful monsoon rainstorms.
The Sonoran Desert is showing off with a sort of "second spring" this month, thanks to repeated dousings from monsoon rains. Clumps of wildflowers dot the landscape, cacti are blooming brightly, and hillsides are cloaked in lush green growth smack in the heart of the hot desert summer.
A Trichocereus - the "Flying Saucer" - blooms in Mark Tylutki's yard. He converted his water-gulping landscape to a desert garden.
The front yard of Mark Tylutki's and Karen Campbell's Sam Hughes home has been converted from lawns to a colorful desert garden.
A hedgehog cactus (Echinocereus viereckii) blooms at Mark Tylutki's home.
An Echinocereus eachinopsis shows off its spring colors.
Harrisia jusberti is one type of night-blooming cereus.
Trichocereus is a popular cactus for use in desert landscapes.
"I absolutely get joy looking at it,''says Karen Campbell of the cactus garden. An orange Trichocereus is shown.
Mark Tylutki knows all of his desert garden babies by name. There is Trichocereus Flying Saucer, with a glorious pink bloom. There's tall and twisty Pedilanthus macrocarpus and Harrisia jusbertii, with stunning white blossoms that smell faintly of honeysuckle and vanilla.