Description: Teddybear Chollas (Cylindropuntia bigelovii) look so fuzzy and cuddly, which is why there are ample signs at the Cholla Cactus Garden in Joshua Tree National Park warning you not to mess with the plants.
While it is called a ‘garden’ on the NPS website and in the park, it is not a planted garden, but a wild one. The cactus, like many other desert plants, grow in certain altitudes and precipitation zones. If you walk for about half a mile uphill or down, the cactus thin out and you encounter other desert plants.
My advice is to visit the easily walked garden in the morning or later evening when the light catches the cacti from the side, giving them a warmer glow.
Location: Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA, North America
Photograph copyright Peter West Carey photography. All rights reserved.