Soon the tops of the barrel cactus will be crowned by a circle of yellow/green flowers in the Anza Borrego Desert State Park. This plant is blooming early, most cactus just have the beginnings of tiny buds forming among the prickly thorns. Within a few weeks the desert will be festooned with a riot of colorful blossoms, unfortunately it looks like I will miss the peak due to the timing of my visit. Meanwhile I keep the watch hiking trails and washes searching for the early bloomers.
Gail Niebrugge, Alaska wildflower artist