Thursday, September 4, 2008

Hiking through prickly habitat

Stephen Ingram introduced his new book about cacti, agaves and yuccas yesterday at the Sundance Bookstore in Reno. In addition to the amazing color photographs and botanical watercolors, the book contains range maps for most of the spiny and sometimes hairy plants. These maps help you to anticipate which succulent species you are likely to see on your next hike through some arid habitat in California or Nevada. You may not want to touch any of the plants, but many animals do. They interact with them in various ways. Ingram's book provides plenty of examples including ants feeding inside a prickly-pear fruit, orioles perching on a Shaw agave and a ground-nesting cactus bee visiting the flower of a Whipple cholla. I am wondering about the wildlife I'll experience along the next trail through the prickly world?

The Book
Stephen Ingram: Cacti, Agaves and Yuccas of California and Nevada. Cachuma Press, Los Olivos, California, 2008.

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