The Teddy Bear Cholla

They look so fuzzy and cuddly that you just want to hug ’em, but that would be quite a painful mistake. The Teddy Bear Cholla is one of my favorite subjects to photograph, but one of my least favorite to navigate through while out in the desert. All you need to do is lightly brush one in passing and an entire segment of the Cholla will attach itself to you, almost as if it’s “jumped” on to you! As you look at the photo, note the segments of the Chollas that are scattered about on the ground. These will eventually take root and form new Chollas. That’s very nice, until you step on one! The Cholla segments are springy and as you lift your foot, they “jump” up and attach to your leg–not a pleasant experience! You would think that by now I would know enough not to wear shorts when I’m out there…

Archival prints of this photo are available for sale. For information, email

4 thoughts on “The Teddy Bear Cholla

  1. Light in the chollas has always been a favorite of mine. There’s some great stands between here and Cordes Jct. The colors you get in so many of your photos are amazing–are you shooting raw, or with filters, or PS tweaks?

    • Hi Lisa. Thanks for the comment. The color in most of my shots is a result of weather conditions, season, location, and most of all, time of day. I would estimate that 95% of the photos featured here were captured within 10 minutes of the sun setting or rising. I always shoot RAW, and the only filter I use is a circular polarizer. I fine tune luminance, saturation and hue in Adobe Camera Raw to get the colors as close to what I saw when I made the shot.


  2. Mark – You may or may not remember us as the couple from the gym that moved back to Ohio – We have gotten both this photo and “After the Monsoon” professionally framed and both hang in the family room as a reminder of our time in the NW Valley. They are awesome!

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