Knowing that we might get cold rain, we none-the-less took a road trip to the Pinacate de la Biosphera in Mexico. We had often stayed at its sister reserve, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, and were curious about how this area might differ from its neighbor to the North.
A quick impression indicated that the Pinacate would be little different than its neighbor but whereas Organ Pipe was one of the lushest of the Sonoran deserts, this area was anything but. One of many Chain Fruit Cholla's patiently waits for rain while clouds hung low and threatening. We didn't want the moisture nearly as much as the flora.
Roads reflected their volcanic sources and the cacti familiar in Organ Pipe had morphed into the Senita variety seen throughout Mexico. The Senita, above, is in the company of it's nurse plant, the Palo Verde.
The Pinacate is highly volcanic and one of the sources of the road conditions can be seen above.
Most of the surrounding area was volcanic, also. Cinders were highlighted by a low-growing, flat weed that provided great contrast to the black, volcanic cinders. A familiar Saguaro stands next to a Senita cactus growing through branches of a Palo Verde.
The landmark feature of the Pinacate is the Crater Elegante. More than 5,000 ft. across and 800 ft. deep, it was too large for my lens to include as a single image. We had been told by a ranger that mountain goats often were in this crater. Today, however, it appeared empty.
In the end we had enjoyed our trip but left the Pinacate to enjoy its rainfall in the quiet it has experienced for millions of years.