I don't know how many here think the desert is nothing but sand dunes. There is an area in Calfornia across the river from Yuma, Arizona that is indeed just that. This is where they make most of those Ariabian Desert movies. But the rest of the desert can get really beautiful at the right times of they year, usually after a nice rain. Most cacti are not as bland as you might think. Here are a few pictures I took about an hour ago of a cactus in our side yard. This bloom came out this morning and will last only a day or two before it will whither and fall off. Those little black noduals are more flowers that will come out over the next few weeks, usually only one at a time. My wife and I are impressed every time one of our cactuses do this. There are hundreds of species of cactus, this one has a botanical name that would put me over the limit if I posted it. I just thought I'd share a bit of what it's like living in the southwest desert.