If you visit Usury Mountain State Park, Arizona, you’ll find lots of nature, but not the kind of nature that just wants to sit in a tree and sing, or use photosynthesis all day. No, this kind of nature is out to kill you.
I’m talking about cholla, a plant so vicious and evil that it makes any stereotypical comic book villain look like Mr. Rodgers and makes a saguaro cactus look huggable. This plant looks like the child of a tree and a sea urchin. It does a great job of getting stuck in your appendages, but that’s not the worst part. The worst part is that cholla can fly. When the wind blows, the urchin-like spike balls break off the tree and soar through the air toward the nearest victim. When stuck inside human flesh, it is extremely hard to pull out, and leaves glochids (tiny pieces of cactus spike) in your skin. Obviously cholla isn’t a fun guy.
There are also saguaros, not out to kill you, but also not like teddy bears. These things are about 15 to 20 feet tall and are a hundred years old when they grow their first arm. They’re a lot like that old dude who sits on the bench outside the mom n’ pop hardware store and whittles in those 50’s movies.
While those are the two most prominent plants of the desert, there are also various types of murderous bushes that scratch your legs and get stuck in your socks. These plants can be mostly ignored and passed aside as “puckerbrush,” just more annoying little plants and bushes. They do have names though, like: cat-claw acacia, honey mesquite, and, palo verde. These plants all have one thing in common; they’re really annoying!
The point however, that I’m trying to make, is that the desert is out to kill you, so make sure to wear closed-toed shoes and probably some full-body judo sparring armor.