20110223USD01-L1002272

March 18, 2011

Cholla cacti (Opuntia bigelovii) grow in the Cholla Cactus Garden in the Pinto Basin in the Sonoran (Colorado) Desert at Joshua Tree National Park, Calif., Wednesday, February 23, 2011. The plant is infamous for its spines covered with tiny, barbed hooks. The spines easily penetrate skin and flesh and are extremely hard and painful to remove. The information plaque at the head of the nature trail leading into the garden features a quote by J. Smeaton Chase who writes in his California Desert Trails (1919): ''If the (cholla cactus) bears any helpful or even innocent part in the scheme of things on this planet I should be glad to hear of it.''

Cholla cacti (Opuntia bigelovii) grow in the Cholla Cactus Garden in the Pinto Basin in the Sonoran (Colorado) Desert at Joshua Tree National Park, Calif., Wednesday, February 23, 2011. The plant is infamous for its spines covered with tiny, barbed hooks. The spines easily penetrate skin and flesh and are extremely hard and painful to remove. The information plaque at the head of the nature trail leading into the garden features a quote by J. Smeaton Chase who writes in his California Desert Trails (1919): ”If the (cholla cactus) bears any helpful or even innocent part in the scheme of things on this planet I should be glad to hear of it.”

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