Helping out the guides at Desert Highlights, who had 29 teenaged boys on a rappel adventure this morning, I came across a pricklypear patch that outdid all others. The prickles were huge, the pads were oversized, and the blossoms were utterly magnificent. I gasped. There is nothing quite like it in the plant world. Negro Bill Canyon is full of great specimens, and it would have been just plain wrong to walk by such an ephemeral display without pausing to admire its beauty and thank its Creator.
In the parking lot upon returning, this green monster caterpillar surprised me. He was 4-5″ long and as thick as my baby finger. When I got close enough with my camera for a macro shot, he began flailing and writhing into C’s and reverse C’s, as if he were having a seizure. The locals told me that horn-lik e thing on his posterior end can inflict hurt, so I kept my distance was reasonable about not touching him, but I suspect that he was trying to repel me.