in A Girl's Gotta Swear, On the road, The State We're In, Things we do

That day I ate part of a cactus

Today we hiked out the Bear Canyon Trail in Tucson, AZ. Thanks to our excellent tour guide and Rohrer family friend, Eric — a horticulturist who has lived here for 25+ years — we gained a tremendous amount of knowledge about the Sonoran Desert. Talk about a value-added experience!

Although I didn’t take photos of all the edible/usable berries and plants Eric showed us, I can now recognize hackberries, desert lavender, Mexican oregano, wild grape vines, wolf berries, and fishhook barrel cactus fruit, and I ate teensy tastes of several of those. Hey, I’ve always been a bit of a whore for free samples. Now I won’t starve if I’m ever lost — or deliberately left behind — in the desert!

Enjoy the day with us through these photos. The weather was perfect!

We're staying at the blue dot. Our hike took us into the Coronado National Forest.

We’re staying at the blue dot. Our hike took us into the Coronado National Forest.

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Desert lavender

Desert lavender

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Christmasy-looking cutie from the mammillaria family

Christmasy-looking little cutie from the mammillaria family. The fruit is edible, and tastes like a sour strawberry.

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Can you see the switchbacks in the trail we hiked?

Can you see the switchbacks in the trail we hiked?

The seven falls, from too far away to see all seven, but I wanted to capture the grandeur

The seven falls, from too far away to see all seven, but I wanted to capture the grandeur

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These little beauties were about the size of a pencil eraser.

These little beauties were about the size of a pencil eraser.

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A little perspective on the size of those saguaros

A little perspective on the size of those saguaros

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It might not look like much, but this little cactus fruit could save you from dehydrating and starving in the desert. The flesh contains sugars and water, and the seeds are high in protein. Tastes kind of like a cross between a lemon and a pepperoncini.

It might not look like much, but this little cactus fruit could save you from dehydrating and starving in the desert. The flesh contains sugars and water, and the seeds are high in protein. Tastes kind of like a cross between a lemon and a pepperoncini — which makes it a “don’t eat unless near death” kind of thing anyway.

They come from the Fishhook Barrel Cactus.

They come from the Fishhook Barrel Cactus.

Tim and Eric on the trail. Their parents have been friends since college days, but these two hadn't seen each other for at least 30 years. That's a lot of catching up to do!

Tim and Eric on the trail. Their parents have been friends since college days, and these two hadn’t seen each other for at least 30 years. That’s a lot of catching up to do!

The stunning saguaro. They live for 150-200 years!

The stunning saguaro. They live for 150-200 years!

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