Penny, Vickie and I took a quick day trip down to Organ Pipe National Monument. I hadn't been in quite a while and I was hoping we weren't too late to see some spring flowers.
There is a memorial to the 28 year old park ranger who was killed by drug smugglers from a cartel. Sad. Apparently they catch quite of few of these in the area as it is right on the border with Mexico.
We had a picnic lunch, as there really isn't anything else in the area. We thought ahead this time. Last time, we were rushing to get something to eat.
The organ pipe cactus is common in Mexico, but this is the only part of the United States that it grows. There is over 300,000 acres of Sonoran desert that is protected here and you can really see a difference in the richness of the plants and animals, in and outside the park.
The guide book helped us get our cholla straight. The most common we saw was the chain fruit cholla. More treelike and you could see the chain fruit hanging like grapes, ready to hitch a ride.