Although the desert is not totally devoid of flowers during the summer, they are a little scarce.
So it was fun to come across this bright red-orange crown on a barrel cactus (actually, two of the barrels on this property were flowering). This cactus is not in the wild, and I'm sure it's in bloom because it gets water that it wouldn't get if it were growing in the open desert.
But as a painter, it's helpful for me to know that these cacti can bloom in late summer/early fall. It's entirely possible that I'll paint this little beauty in a wild setting, with the "excuse" that summer thunderstorms gave it the incentive it needed to put on a show!
We painters can do that!