Just a few more pics from my hikes in the Cactus Garden at the base of the Pinal Mountains!
Despite the heavily barbed stems of the Sotol plant, aka the "Desert Spoon" it was frequently used by Native Americans as primary material for weaving baskets, mats, and used for making ropes and even sandals. The heart of the plant is said to be edible, and has been compared to an artichoke in consistency.
Such a beautiful specimen of a Prickly Pear Cactus. Too bad someone was using it for target practice.
After finding several broken and rusted pieces of horse shoes during my hikes, I did find the holy grail so to speak - a completely intact horse shoe that was beautifully rusted. I wondered how many years had it laid out there in the elements, and if it would still be there in another 100 years or so. It was so small, I thought perhaps it might have belonged to a donkey. The area has a long history of copper mining and I suspect that Donkeys were used as a major means of transporting ore and mining camp supplies during the 1800's.
One of several watering holes in the area! Spotted a doe early one morning running uphill near the back of the pond. By the time I got my camera out she had disappeared over the ridge.
There is something so sinister looking about deformed cacti. Another one with Fasciation that reminded of "Little Shop of Horrors."
At a little over 5 feet tall, this Barrel Cactus was the largest one I found in the garden! I have heard that they have an average lifespan of 50+ years!
Another Barrel Cactus loaded with Fruit.