Cactus Ghosts in the Desert

Life in the Desert

Cactus appear as ghosts in the desert
Photograph copyright by Jeffrey B. Ross – © All Rights Reserved.

Living in the desert will often present a real life oxymoron which will make us stop and take notice. Although people think of the Sonoran Desert of Arizona as a very hot place, it does have a winter season. During this period of time, from December through February (approximately), we have cloudy days with intermittent rains. This year, we had more rainy days in January than any time in the last ten years that I can remember.

Another surprise to some is that we get snow on top of the mountains surrounding the Phoenix valley and we have a frost every once in a while. In our neighborhood so far this year, we had one day with light frost, but there have been years when we have had several days with a bit more than a light frost. When that happens, we need to protect some of our sensitive plants. This is often done by covering them with frost blankets.

Once the cloth is placed over the plant, it needs to be anchored at the bottom so the cold air, that is heavier than the warmer air, does not get under the cloth.

THE PICTURE ABOVE – There are certain cactus species that people use in their landscape in the desert that are more sensitive to the cold than others and nurseries can’t take the chance of having them damaged by cold or frost. To protect the plants, they wrap them in frost cloths during the colder months. The picture demonstrates this phenomenon. When I passed by this nursery in N. Phoenix, the bundled cacti reminded me of ghosts.

See previous posts about life in the desert HERE.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *