Barrel cactus flowers, Ferocactus cylindraceus.
In this 2007 photograph from Desemboque on the Sea of Cortez, Raquel Hofer and her aunt, who wields the shovel, are burning off the spines from a different species of barrel cactus (Ferocactus wislizenii) than the one pictured above in Anza Borrego. After the spines are burned off, the two Seri/Comca’ac women will hollow out the interior and use the barrel cactus to hold a delicious wine made from fermented pitahayas, the cardon cactus fruits, for a ceremony in early July.
My collaborator, Rose Ramirez, took this photo of barrel cactus buds at the Malki Museum. In Temalpakh, Cahuilla elder Katherine Siva Saubel writes that her family canned over one hundred quarts of barrel cactus buds after one spring harvest.
Cholla cactus flower.
Besides the barrel, cholla, and hedgehog cacti in bloom, there were many other desert beauties, including the pink fairy duster, Calliandra eriophylla.
Brittlebush, Encilia farinosa.
Desert sand verbena, Abronia villosa, photographed on the outskirts of Borrego Springs.