Barrel Cactus in bloom, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California
Spring in the desert is a land of contrasts. Normally barren fields and rocky hillsides, washed clean from winter rains, take on a new dimension as wildflowers begin to dot the landscape and succulents explode in a kaleidoscope of color. Here a spiny barrel cactus displays its delicate flowers on Yaqui Pass in Anza-Borrego State Park. Though the vibrant show attracts wildlife and photographers alike, the sharp needle-like spines are a constant reminder to look but don’t touch.