© Geoffrey R Cullen 2019
The afternoon sun casts its long shadows on the snow and lights lodge-pole pine trees on the slopes of Copper Mountain, Colorado, USA. In the distance, is Peak 8 from the neighbouring Breckenridge ski resort at 12,990 feet, (3,960 m). It is one of the peaks on the Ten Mile Range.
The sharp, prolific spines of a Golden Barrel Cactus, (Echinocactus spp.), could give some pause to the unwary. It is a popular garden plant in Arizona, USA where it is occasionally referred to by some as the "mother-in-law's cushion".
Sprawling at the base of a Saguaro cactus, a patch of flowering California Poppies brightens up a rocky hillside near Pinnacle Peak, Arizona, USA. Saguaros are very slow growing and at around 12 to 15 feet tall, this specimen is estimated to be between 60 and 100 years old. They can grow to over 30 feet and can live over 175 years in a harsh desert environment.