Cholla Cactus

My dog, Aster, usually has cabin fever by the time I get home from work. I've taught her not to be a hyper girl so she will greet me excitedly when I get home. Then sit and wait on the chaise lounge until I give her attention. She has a dog door, but she's a social animal and prefers the company of other dogs to me. I wasn't sure if tonight would be a dog park evening or a walk around the neighborhood evening.

I heard raindrops starting after I entered my house. The air was pungent with the smell of moisture intermingled with smoke. There is a fire in Los Alamos, New Mexico. The Las Conchas fire has burned nearly 93,000 acres. I stood under my shade sails wondering how long the rain would last and if any of it would reach Los Alamos. The rain was a welcome relief to the air being imbued with smoke from other fires for what seemed like the last month.

The rain came in drifts. But it was fleeting so driving to dog park seemed easier than having Aster pulling me along on her leash. She could blithely ignore me and run around with some of her favorite dogs while I took photos of the sun setting and cholla cactus in various stages of bloom.
Low resolution photos of cacti from my camera phone. It was almost dusk and sun had started setting.
Donations for the care and feeding of animals displaced by the fire can be made to the Espanola Valley Humane Society.


  1. Beautiful pictures of the cholla cactus! I've never seen that. Sorry to hear about the fire in Los Alamos. Have they gotten it under control yet? Thanks for posting the link about helping the animals.

  2. Love the photos of the cactus. Very unusual looking but nice. Your sweet dog sounds wonderful. Great to come home to.
    Cher Sunray Gardens
    Goldenray Yorkies

  3. I love your dog's name :)

    The cactus photos are beautiful. To me, they're pure Santa Fe.

  4. Pięknie ( chociaż kłująco ) kaktusowo u Ciebie. Pozdrawiam

  5. @BL - Unfortunately, the fire is not under control yet. It could end of being the biggest one in NM history. I have a friend whose Mom lost her house in the last fire in Los Alamos.

    @Sunray - Aster is asking for attention right now. But she gets to go on a play date while I go out for dinner.

    @Patricia - There's a dog at the dog park named, Oscar and he think he comes to me when I'm calling for Aster because they sound alike.

    @Giga - The blooms were an unexpected surprise this week. Thank you!

  6. Ancient-looking and stunningly beautiful, that cactus. Glad you shared your surprise.

  7. Beautiful photos! The cactus has lovely blooms but deadly looking spines. Do the dogs in the dog park ever run into these? I guess they would quickly learn to keep a wide berth. So sorry about the fire. I hope it will soon be controlled. I can't imagine how awful it must be to face such a blaze.

  8. @Lee - I saw cacti of all different sizes, very old one with lots of branches and smaller ones with only a few. One of my friends mentioned that you can break off a little branch and put it in the ground and to start a new plant.

    @Deb - Fortunately, Aster has never run into one. The fire has grown to over 117K acres, but is now contained enough for the Los Alamos residents to return home.

  9. The cholla are so incredible in bloom--I LOVE that color. The ones I've seen at the open space parks here haven't bloomed as heavily as the ones in your pics--just one at a time, and then they're done.

    All the photos I've seen of the fire-fighters look soooo tired. What a brutal summer they're having. I can't imagine what the smoke must have been like up there this week.

  10. The cactus are sure colorful. It must be wonderful seeing them come into bloom. NM was my favorite state when I was out west. The colors of the sky and land are phenomenal in the desert. An artist's paradise.

  11. @Stacy - I love the color, too. People were allowed to go back to Los Alamos yesterday, but one of my friends remarked on Fb that it's very smoky there, now.

    @GWGT - Donna, like Stacy mentioned I had never seen so many in bloom at once before. It was remarkable and more so with the setting sun.

  12. @greggo - there isn't much vegetation out at the dog park so I think the dogs are fine.


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