Highway Cacti ~ Arizona, USA

Changes in landscape are so distinct from state to state in the USA – I’ve noticed this especially in my recent travels across the southern (from east to west) parts of the country.

From the rusty reds and yellow hues of Washington DC’s fall foliage, to the grand arched branches of Charleston’s live oaks, to the dramatic sunsets of Texas that form a fiery backdrop to its shrub covered flats; the effect of nature on one’s impression of a place is so pronounced.

One of my favourite landscape vistas on this trip was while driving through Arizona. Heading from Sedona towards Phoenix, gently undulating mountains frame the highway as far as the eye can see, their slopes punctuated with dozens and dozens of columnar catci. It was tough to get a sharp photo from a moving car so I leave this scene to your imagination. “Wild” is an initial thought that popped into my mind.

Below are a few images taken at a rest stop in Black Canyon City, AZ.  Enlarge and look into the background of the first image – you might see multiples of what in reality are giant polyp-like succulents.

Prickly Pear Cactus