Strawberry hedgehog (Englemann's hedgehog): Echinocereus engelmannii, Cactaceae (cactus family)

Originally I wasn't going to feature any cacti, because it seemed too obvious, and social media is exploding with neon pictures of cactus blooms. However, I've been captivated by the fuchsia flowers that pop out at my from a distance during my daily walks, kind of like where's waldo. And I realized that not all the hot pink splotches that peer out from behind green brambles are beavertails (the most common native cactus around here, which is totally spectacular, but also very familiar to me). The colors have been out of control, finding me in a flower frenzy where I'm drawn in to inspect each pink patch, and I was surprised to learn that so many of these magenta mounds are supported by clusters of stubby, phallic cacti covered in long, curling reddish spines, similar to a barrel cactus. But much smaller. Baby barrels? No, but equally cute in name: Strawberry hedgehog. 

Cactuses are what you think of when you think of the desert. But really, they're kind of scarce. They're pollinated by bees, and if a flower has "done its job," it'll close, never to re-open. But if it hasn't been visited by enough bees, the flower may bloom for days (always to close at night when business is slow.) And with that, I'll turn in too.