The Sonoran Desert, Arizona
Welcome to the Sonoran Desert, where life thrives despite the heat thanks to two seasons of rainfall. This subtropical desert spreads across parts of Mexico, California, and Arizona and is home to animals such as roadrunners, Gila monsters, and the Morafka's desert tortoise. Its rainy seasons are followed by the blossoming of colorful wildflowers such as the brittlebush, seen in today's image. These hardy shrubs are adapted to the dry seasons, with their silvery-gray leaves covered in fine hairs that help reduce water loss. Brittlebushes produce bright yellow flowers that bloom in clusters, adding splashes of color to the desert landscape. Another drought-loving desert flora is the saguaro cactus, which can live for over 150 years and grow up to 40 feet tall. The saguaro also provides food and shelter for desert species and is a sacred plant in the culture of the Tohono O'odham people.