These photos were taken on our recent White Tank Mountain trip. Click to enlarge any photo. The desert is lush and beautiful right now because of the recent rains. On this trip, we didn't see or hear any wildlife at all. Maybe they were hiding in the abundant grass and bushes on the desert floor.
You can see the steam from the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station from almost any area in the West Valley. It is located about 55 miles west of Phoenix, and it produces the most power--of any kind of power producer--in the whole United States. The plant was up and running in 1988.
According to Arizona Public Service, "Palo Verde is the only nuclear plant in the United States that does not sit on a large body of water. Instead, it uses treated effluent from several area municipalities to meet its cooling water needs, recycling 20 billion gallons of waste water each year."
This barrel cactus must have had some kind of damage to its top at one time. It looks like another, smaller cactus was grafted on top!
This Saguaro cactus is tenacious and just determined to live! I can't tell if the broken part is an arm, or maybe part of the trunk. Whatever it is, it's growing the two arms, which could mean it is a trunk. I'll check back in a few years--'God willing and the creek don't rise' to see if these two cactus are still alive and thriving. I can't wait for the next trail ride!