Monday, July 20, 2009

Cactus Monday- Where the Inspiration Began

The Desert Garden, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA
Last Monday, in my very first Cactus Monday Post, I shared how I had a complete turn around after visiting The Desert Garden in Balboa Park. My first glimpse of the Desert Garden inspired me to make my own little desert garden at home. For today's Cactus Monday post, I will share pictures of the Desert Garden in Balboa Park, where my fascination for cactus and my desert interest all began. The barrel cacti above are huge, for comparison, here is a picture below.
Desert Garden, Balboa Park
The width of the barrel cactus is even wider than our body, and the height of some cacti are several times taller than us.
"Spooky" Cactus Curtain
The Desert Garden in Balboa Park contains more than 1,300 plants, including succulents and drought resistant plants from all around the world. I first went to this park October of 2004, and there were no blooms even, yet the cacti were just so unique for me. Seeing all their interesting curves and forms, I was so hooked into them. Perhaps, their spines poked my mind and heart that I could not get my thoughts off them.
Mix of Cacti, Desert Garden @ Balboa Park
When we got home, I got busy looking for cactus and succulents for my planned little desert garden. I know my little desert garden will never be like the Desert Garden in Balboa Park, but then the park is close enough for me to get inspiration whenever I feel like. The first time I visited the park in spring, I was surprised to find out the succulents in the hiking trail were almost drowned by the spring flowers.
Spring flowers and Aloe
Spring flowers and Barrel Cactus
But then, during spring, it is not just the spring flowers that bloom, the cacti too :) . Though some succulents start to bloom January, but since they don't bloom at the same time, one can observe the various blooms of cacti even until the summer. The picture below is a blossom from a cholla cactus which I took just a month ago.
Cholla Cactus in Bloom
Barrel Cactus in Bloom
During the blooming season, the bees are busy as they can be. 
A Lone Bee on Prickly Pear Blossom 
Back to Back Bees
Face to Face Bees
I have more of bees picture in my "Prickly Pear and the Busy Bees" post last month. Anyway, here is another lone bee enjoying the blossom of another variety of a beavertail cactus.
Beavertail in Bloom
And here is a closer look at the inner beauty of a prickly pear blossom.
A Closer Look at Prickly Pear Blossom
I have a lot more pictures from this park, but will save them for later when I feature the cacti individually and their unique characterstics. For my first few posts, I plan to introduce first various desert landscapes where my feet has brought me for my eyes and spirit to rest on. 
For more of Cactus Monday posts, please visit Teri's Painted Daisies. 
Also, in connection with my love for the desert, I invite you to visit our group site, The Salitype Society, where I presented the beauty of The Desert Through My Eyes. The post is not only a collection of my favorite desert photos that had struck me the most, but also a composition of thoughts from my desert wanderings, and maybe inspired by my desire for others to appreciate the desert, and preserve its fragile natural resources, as much as we care for the mountains and the oceans. Hope you can stop by there and see The Desert Through My Eyes
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  1. wow- never seen so much cacti in my life, beth! just woke up - and this is a perfect sight!

  2. Beautiful post! Though blooming flowers are just spectacular, and I love those bees pictures. Wonderful, and enjoyable post.

  3. The Desert Garden in Balboa Park looks like a wonderful place to visit. I love that unusual "Spooky Cactus." Also the Aloe looks so pretty with its pointy leaves contrasting with the soft spring flowers.

  4. Welcome to Cactus Monday! What great pics. I love the bee.


  5. What absolutely spectacular photos.... I love the combinations of the delicate flowers and the strong spiny cacti! You have a great photographic eye... fun to see the world through it! :)
    Welcome to The Cactus Monday Group!

  6. Wow, so many different cactuses and the photos are wonderful, Happy Cactus Monday!


  7. Wow!
    I can see your turn around!
    What a lovely park!
    Your pictures are awesome!


  8. haven't been to any dessert garden or like a cactus garden but rest assured i'll enjoy it if i set foot there. The cactus blooms are pretty, just like any other flowers. can't wait for next leg of your cactus series =)

  9. It always amazes me to see flowers sprout from a cactus. And then the thought that a bee would like them.

  10. Cactus are SO amazing! I love the one with you by the "garden" to show the scale and the variety of textures.

  11. What an amazing and inspiring place! I could spend days there walking around, gee, there are even daisies! lol

    You took such gorgeous photos! Bravo.

    Happy Cactus Monday!!

  12. When I saw flowers sprouting from a cactus, that never looked like a tree very beginning of my travel,I could only say, "Wow!!".

  13. It's amazing how cactus can be in different form, sizes, shape etc. The wonders of GOd's creation.

  14. Wow! Your shots and sharing make me smile and smile. I super love the close up bloom with bee at work.
    How did you do that?
    You are so good. I really admire your talent!

    The cactus is like Alice in the wonderland. Love the spread of yellow blooms, just like carpet.
    Happy Cactus Monday!

  15. That is an amazing garden of cacti...

  16. it's amazing how you bring life to dull moments through your photography, betchai. this made my Monday. :)

  17. The cactus are huge!
    I love your photo about Pear Blossom and the bees, Beautifully taken! :)

  18. Wow! For a first Cactus Monday you have more than outdone yourself. What a mind blowing spectcular display of cacti. Thanks for coming to my blog today.
    Paint is the program that comes in Accessories in my computer. I just "painted" using it's tools. Very simple!

  19. wow!

    look at those bees!

    and gosh, i love yellow!!!!!

    "A Closer Look at Prickly Pear Blossom"- makes me think of jel-o and everythin' soft and nice and lovely! can not blame the bees for lovin' it!

    the "Barrel Cactus in Bloom" geeezzzz 'would love to let its petals caress my cheeks.....

    love yah betchai!

  20. That's amazing. The best part about a desert garden is that it doesn't need much water. This leads me to ponder why I don't see more people with cactus garden in my home town as we are in very bad drought and have had tough water restrictions in place of the last 9 years.

  21. I like the first photo. The cacti looked almost like boulders.

  22. what amazing photos, i like the spooky cactus too. wish mine were as big as these. happy cactus monday to you too.

  23. As usual,I'm astounded by your post and your photos.Look at those cacti,they're large. I only get to see small cactus plants in small pots here in our place.And I can imagine that cactus "curtain" wiggle when no one is looking,lol!

  24. Nice macro and contrast on the Prickly Pear Blossom... what a dreamlike capture. :)

  25. wow, I had never thought that cactus flower can be sooo pretty! Thanks for sharing :-)

  26. It took me a long time to search on the net, only your site open up the fully details, bookmarked and thanks again.

    - Kris

  27. Love the pictures. I have been to San Diego before and it really is a special place.