16 December 2012
As I've been working my way through the text of Fire: Elements of the Undead and turning it into a podcast, I realized I often mention plants (and sometimes animals) that only exist in southern Arizona. This afternoon, I was hiking with my wife and I happened to have my phone with me, so I decided to take a few pictures of the plants that often serve as backdrops in my stories.
We'll start with the cholla cactus:
That's me with my arms wrapped dangerously close to a teddy bear cholla. This monster makes its first appearance in the early chapters of Fire, when Cesar is trekking through the Sonoran desert. They're nasty buggers with gazillions of spines and you want to steer well clear of them.
Next up is a patch of prickly-pear cactus. These are a little more common around the US, and I wouldn't be surprised if they exist on other continents as well. I've seen them in Colorado and I believe I even saw a patch in Virginia once. They get really big here in Arizona - I've seen pads the size of dinner plates on several occasions.
That's it for now. If you like what you see, let me know and I'll take some more pics next time I'm out - maybe even a Javelina if I'm lucky.