Sunday, March 8, 2009

Prickly Pear Plots

Today I noticed that the prickly pear cactus (Opuntia ?) in our side yard is just starting to bloom. At this stage they have pretty yellow pistils extending from the end. I watched as this bee (can you see it on the top?) squirmed around in the folds for several minutes. He finally came out, drunk and laughing, and flew into my camera lens before stumbling on to molest another flower. It was pretty disgraceful, but what can you do?

The cactus is about 25 feet tall and maybe 20 feet wide, constantly threatening to consume the two orange trees in its neighborhood. The more I cut it back, the stronger it gets.

Coincidentally, the oranges from both trees are little bitter, and I believe it is a plot by the cactus to trick me into cutting down the trees so that it can complete its conquest of the entire side yard. Orange trees, I've discovered, are not too bright and are easily lead astray.

The trick is this: Prickly pears are very brittle--their arms fall off with little provocation. It's how they start new plants. So this freak is just bating me, just daring me to go out there and start hacking at it. We'll just see. Maybe I won't...

I swear the following is true: I just went outside to take another picture of the cactus, and one of the big arms had fallen off. The arm fell off while I was writing this blog. I swear.

Also, one of our fish is probably dying. It floats on its side for a while, then swims for a while. I feel really bad for it but am hopeful that it may soon recover.

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