The brush along the river at camp was inundated by small, annoying flies. In an effort to elude them I climbed the hill south of our river camp at 224 Mile Rapid. The sun was low and the warmth beckoned me. Climbing the hill, I noticed that the abundance of Cholla cactus was increasing. As the sun dropped it gently highlighted the bristling spines of this Cholla forest and I wanted to capture the view in the panorama. The view of the Chollas against the backdrop of the upstream river and cliffs are another reminder of the ever-changing beauty of the Grand Canyon.
When I researched Cholla cacti while assembling this panorama I found that Cholla are often called "jumping cactus". Many varieties of Cholla are so loosely attached at the branch nodes that even the slightest brush against the spines allows the small branches to break off and embed their spines into the unsuspecting victim. You can see that there are at least a couple of the small branches that have broken off the main plant and now lie on the ground.