The incredible Ocotillo shrub is one of my very favorite plants of the North American desert.
Tall, spindly, tough, with slender whip-like stems festooned with thorns that feature needle sharp points. Nothing to be trifled with.
They also have a fantastic adaptation: to only sprout leaves when there is enough rain. They can do it as many times a year as there is enough water, dropping their tiny leaves in between rains to conserve their internal moisture.
In this springtime photo near Sedona, Arizona, this plant is popping its leaves for the first time since the winter. The morning sun highlighted the plant agains its red rock cliff background in shadow.
Location: Sedona, Arizona
You might also be interested in my Grand Canyon Photography blog.