Thanks to Keri Kirby for today’s Photo of the Day.
I think this is a “pencil cholla,” aka cylindropuntia arbuscula, but with more than twenty cholla species in the Southwest I’d need an expert to confirm.
Interestingly, botanist used to classify cholla as a subspecies of prickly pear (Opuntia genus).
The middle elevations of the Sonoran Desert are covered with blossoming cholla and prickly pear right now. And the giant saguaro are starting to blossom, too. Get out and see them while you can!