Suffering Cacti

I drove through Saguaro National Park East yesterday, and because of our severe drought, I was unable to find anything blooming, even though this is normally our spring wildflower season. Instead of colorful wildflowers, there were only the strange and sickly colors of drought-stressed cacti like these Cactus Apples or Engelmann's Pricklypears (Opuntia engelmannii) and other Pricklypear Opuntia species. These cacti should be plump and green right now, but instead they are shriveled and oddly colored.

Orange drought-stressed Cactus Apple or Engelmann's Pricklypear (Opuntia engelmannii)

Yellow drought-stressed Cactus Apple or Engelmann's Pricklypear (Opuntia engelmannii)

Purple drought-stressed Pricklypear (Opuntia sp.)

Pink and yellow drought-stressed Pricklypear (Opuntia sp.)

Gray drought-stressed Pricklypear (Opuntia sp.)

Red drought-stressed Pricklypear (Opuntia sp.)

Drought-stressed Cactus Apple or Engelmann's Pricklypear (Opuntia engelmannii) infected with a cactus virus

Many of these drought-stricken cacti already look so sickly that I don't know how they will survive the extreme heat of summer until the monsoon rains of July.