V distinctly remembers petting these cacti years ago and getting a spine to the finger. I remember the incident as well, but it was a barrel-type cactus and it was in Phoenix. The takeaway here is don't pet the cactus, so maybe the details aren't important.
But there's more. On the way back today, I was almost directly across the street from the pictured flora and there was a lovely moth fanning its wings slowly on the sidewalk. I put the photo behind a link for the moth-averse. I know you're out there!
Edited to add: I think this is actually a brush-footed butterfly, the Question Mark.