Joseph Philipson Visual Journalism661.727.4057
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In the Cholla Garden

Cylindropuntia bigelovii, the teddy bear cholla (choy-ya), is a cholla cactus species native to Northwestern Mexico, and to the United States in California, Arizona, and Nevada.

20220115-CA.Joshua.Tree.NP.063 – Cholla Garden, Joshua Tree National Park Photograph by Joseph Philipson

Desert pack rats such as the desert woodrat gather these balls around their burrows, creating a defense against most predators like kit fox and coyote, however several species of snake feed on the rat keeping its population balanced.

20220115-CA.Joshua.Tree.NP.040 – Cholla Garden, Joshua Tree National Park Photograph by Joseph Philipson

The cactus wren can be found perched on the cholla and other cacti. They also use a variety of cacti for nesting purposes.

20220115-CA.Joshua.Tree.NP.034 – Cholla Garden, Joshua Tree National Park Photograph by Joseph Philipson

This trail is located on the lonely western edge of Pinto Basin. More importantly, it’s located on the western threshold of the Colorado Desert, just as it starts to gain elevation.

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