Through Your Lens

on July 1, 2014

The name teddy bear cholla (choy-a) implies something soft and cuddly, but trust me, you do not want to snuggle with this thing. For one, it’s a cactus. And if that’s not bad enough, its needle-like spines grab whatever brushes by. With the help of backward-facing barbs, these painful spines hold tight and just won’t let go.

Teddy Bear Cactus

photo by Paul DeCesare

Cholla Cactus at Sunrise

So why is this cactus called “teddy bear”? Its long spines are covered with paper-like, light-colored sheaths (usually pale yellow or green). At a distance, they make the plants look soft, almost fluffy, especially during sunrise and sunset.

While the teddy bear cholla will never be our snuggle buddy, it should remind us how the Creator designed plants to flourish in the harsh deserts. The spines of this cactus protect it and disperse it far and wide, and yet their sting reminds us that Adam’s sin brought a curse upon the earth.


photo by Steve Burbank


Grey Crowned Crane

photo by Bob Jensen

Grey Crowned Crane

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