I am back from a bittersweet trip to the midwest. It was filled with a wedding, 2 high school graduations and many reminders of the family and friends I still have there. I came back with very few photos that would interest you – most of them are of people you don’t know so I thought I would post this picture of a small crested cactus that I spotted while walking along the canals of Venice, CA. I first posted about crested cacti awhile ago so you can imagine my delight when I happened across this one.
Sometimes you can find the best things when you aren’t looking for them. I’m pretty sure that’s a lesson in Zen I just wrote. 🙂
Spring in the desert is always an amazing time of year. My backyard this year has been the host of several Say’s Phoebes. I think they were originally looking to nest in the light fixture of the fan on my patio. I can hear their distinctive calls all day long.
Out at Magpie’s the other day I feasted on the spring bounty that was happening in her yard and practiced some iPhonography.
A cactus bloom.
Today is rare cloudy day in the desert. We even had a bit of rain this morning. I am trying to remember to enjoy each and every moment because it is a gift, and once it’s gone is gone forever.
OK, back to the beach…..
Here we see a cactus, a tree and some mistletoe fighting for a small spot of desert land. Contrary to popular belief, mistletoe is actually a parasitic plant and can kill trees that are heavily infested with it.
Wikipedia only has this to say about the custom of kissing under the mistletoe:
According to ancient Christmas custom, a man and a woman who meet under a hanging of mistletoe were obliged to kiss. The custom may be of Scandinavian origin. It was described in 1820 by American author Washington Irving in his “The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon”:
- “The mistletoe is still hung up in farm-houses and kitchens at Christmas, and the young men have the privilege of kissing the girls under it, plucking each time a berry from the bush. When the berries are all plucked the privilege ceases.”
Magpie said something today that reminded me of a picture I had taken a few months back and had mentally filed away for posting when the temperatures rose above
Of course I had to bust the lock on that mental file cabinet in order to pry it out, but here it is. The poor cactus is so cold it’s turning purple!
The tall, columnar shape of the saguaro cactus is familiar to any desert traveler. But very rarely (about only one plant in 10,000), a saguaro will grow with a fan-shaped crest of uncontrolled growth at the tip. These oddities of the plant kingdom are known as cristate (or crested) saguaros. The deformity also occurs in other species of cactus, such as the organ pipe and barrel cactus. Science has not yet fully explained why this mutation occurs; perhaps it is caused by frost damage, although many other explanations have been offered.
If you ever happen upon one of these, remember that you are seeing something rare and special.