Hedgehogs in Bloom
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It’s April and that means that Hedgehog Cacti are in bloom. Most of the year Hedgehogs are practically invisible; small, spine-covered cacti that often hide in the shade of larger plants and seldom reach a foot in height. Their gray-green stems blend into the desert background.
But, for a few brief days in April they are like neon signs — something out of a Las Vegas casino, perhaps.
The flowers, when they open, are about two inches in diameter and they last only for a day. Then, they fade and dry up. Pollinating insects love these plants and I’m sure that the flowers’ brilliant color is the Hedgehogs’ way of signaling to the insects that yes, there’s something good to feed on out there in that desert.
Personally, I’m not enamored of these plants. The flowers are just a bit too outrageous for my taste. But, I have to admit, they are spectacular in their brief flamboyance.
Images made with a Canon 5DS-R, 180 f3.5L Macro Lens assisted by Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite, M setting, ISO 160. The first image shot at f16 @ 1/160, the second at f13 @ 1/160.