During a 15-day expedition in Mexico’s Chihuahuan Desert, Stefano spotted this young bishop’s cap cactus exploiting the remains of agaves. In the searing heat, Stefano carefully framed the cactus among the crisscrossing leaves and, as a cloud softened the light, captured the rich textures and tones of this parched scene.
The bishop’s cap cactus is a desert survivor, covered with tiny, white, hairy scales called trichomes that provide protection from the Sun. It is thriving here in the shade and organic matter of dying agaves. The Chihuahuan Desert is the largest desert in North America, but an increasing human population and misuse of water is threatening this delicate ecosystem.
Nikon D800; 85mm f2.8 lens; 0.3 sec at f19; ISO 200; Gitzo tripod and Manfrotto head.
Chihuahuan Desert, Mexico
Sign up to receive emails from the Natural History Museum about events and exhibitions, including Wildlife Photographer of the Year.
Stefano Baglioni, Italy
Stefano started taking nature photographs in 2006. He focuses on animals and plants in their wild habitats, during particular moments of their lives.