The colorful landscape of Zion

The colorful landscape of Zion – Photograph by Laura Lecce

Another epic landscape photo showing the colorful landscape of Zion National Park in Utah. Down below you can see the road that travels in the valley between these giant rocky mountains, which are perfect for hikers to get a scenic view of the area. It was very strange to me to be seeing a landscape that looks like a dessert, but at the same time, also a place where snow was falling. The wonders of mother nature at their best.

Friday Flower – Blooming Cactus

Cactus Flowers - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Cactus Flowers – Photograph by Laura Lecce

This photo was taken at the New York Botanical Gardens in the desert section of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. Cacti produce some of the most stunningly beautiful flowers in the world. These brilliantly colored pink flowers were on the top of a teeny little barrel-shaped cactus. A cactus must be mature to flower and this can take more than 30 years for some cacti, and 40-55 years for the saguaro cactus! A word of warning though, not all cactus flowers are real. I have seen flowering cacti becoming more popular at grocery stores and corner stores, and the same cactus comes in a variety of brightly colored flowers from purples and pinks to oranges and yellows. Wondering how this could be possible, I have felt the flowers to assure myself that they are real. They are technically “real” flowers, just not real cactus flowers. My friend recently purchased one, and was kind enough to provide me a photo (below). These flowers are actually a strawflower (or everlasting flower) which have been glued to the cactus. These flowers can stay in perfect condition long after removal from the plant, and for marketing convenience make a very pretty addition to a cactus.

In a perfect world - Photographed by a good friend
In a perfect world – Photographed by a good friend