February 25, 2016
We have enjoyed some incredible weather the past few days...just perfect for hiking the Tucson Mountain Park. The trails are close by and rarely do we ever see anyone else. John and Pam (ohtheplacestheygo.wordpress.com), who will be heading north soon, have mastered these trails so what a treat to join them one more time. The older section of the Tucson Mt. Park has miles of trails that intersect and NO signage unlike the new Robles Pass Section which is well marked. It's a good thing Google maps has all the details.
|John and Pam checking the trail directions...|
With that said, Joe and I followed the leader, enjoyed John and Pam's company and were once again awed by the surrounding beauty.
|Segments of jumping cholla cover the ground...|
This cholla is also referred to as a jumping cholla. The segmented joints of this cholla separate from the plant when brushed up against.
Another cholla we see often is the Chain-Fruit Cholla.
It can grow to about 15 feet tall making it the largest of the chollas. New fruit is added to the fruit from previous seasons creating a chain.
And another familiar variety here is the
Staghorn cholla with a very close cousin called the Buckhorn. The main difference that I could find is that the Stag tends to have more of a purple tint. Another significant difference is that the fruit of the Stag is fleshy and spineless and remains attached to the plant throughout the winter.
|The fruit from last year is quite showy on the Staghorn Cholla.|
One last cholla worth mentioning is the Christmas Cholla. The spines on this cholla are different as only one very long spine is produced by each areole instead of a cluster.
There are many benefits from these amazing plants including providing homes and foods for wildlife.
It looks like the saguaro will be blooming soon...
It was another great day in the desert with friends...
...and we were not the only ones enjoying the beautiful weather. We saw a lizard...
Until next time...
happy days and happy trails!