Yep...me and that prickly pear's message are one and the same: "Don't mess with me! "
These Beaver Tail type of Cacti grow wild here in Nevada and I have them planted through out my property as they are one of the few plants the quail, the chukar, the hares and cotton tails, the doves, and the numerous other little varmits don't eat down to the nubs. So when I spot a cactus..as I've been riding my horse, I mark it's spot and have to go back, dig it up and replant it into my yard. I've come to know ..horse's aren't 'specially fond of prickly pears.. anymore than they are of 'pricky bears!')
I know I shouldn't disturb them but since I truly try to give them a good home where they can be seen and appreciated ...and I plant them in the dessert sand ... they seem to be content and are multiplying! they really don't require much care, just treat 'em right and leave 'em alone.
You know..we do have things in common and maybe..there is something I can learn from these cacti!
Over the last 4 years..it seems..... (just like my cactus).. that I've been able to withstand the harshest and driest elements that my life has become without shriveling up and dying, AND now I also...seem too be growing these long, sometimes mean, sharp spines! (not literally you guys!I can't even grow fingernails!) But some should beware of us cacti! I'm not the ole kay kay!
Cacti are tough little buggers, true to fact, but they can and do succumb to dyer hardships. You can plant your cactus in the wrong place, wrong soil type and they will not thrive like they do in nature... kinda like taking them away from what is the norm for them and throwing their world out of whack. Have you ever tried to grow one in a pot, only to watch it curl up and die?
And did you know they get sunburn? Something you'd think they would love..can really harm them! I find them hidden under and protected by the big overgrown sage brush. I guess everthing needs some kind of protection.
But look..they get along so well along side with the iris' who are so different from them and like a lot of water. The iris' don't seem to mind their spikey spines! Funny huh?
They need to slowly soak up their moisture and utilize it for their needed growth before getting more water. They like to keep things on an even keel ..you know.. they kinda like to be prepared for a drought ..just in case. Sound like something we people need to learn?
I took theses pictures ... hoping to capture how beautiful the yellow flowers can be when they are showing off in the morning. (I just love a show-off!) I wait for them to bloom every year and was afraid I was going to miss them this year because we had soo much heavy rain, wind and storms..it seems they made it through. Tuff little guys. A lot of blooms have yet to open! They take their own sweet time. No rush. It does sadden me that the blooms don't stay around for long so you have to enjoy them when they are around. Just like some people I know.
Doesn't it make you think about why they need to develop such harsh spines and sharp little needles?.... and what are they protecting so fiercely? maybe it's because they break so easy and when their skin splits apart and they tear... the damage is permanent. There is nothing you can do..it's best to just let it scar over and try to not let it happen again.
Tho my life has been in sort of a drought for some time... me and the prickly pear still manage to open up and bloom. They also open and close their flowers accordingly..it's kinda like a big smile! Conserving themselves but letting their beauty and promise show. (That has been one of my mottos!)
Don't you think the flowers are quite pretty?
And don't they make you appreciate the hardy cactus a little more?
Right now...I thank God I am like the Prickly Pear. I need my spikey spines, and then maybe..someday I'll be ready to be a rose again, with small little thorns. Maybe ...I'll be ready to see what secrets it's beauty has to teach me.