Monday walk…Careful where you step!

Posted: September 14, 2020 in Monday walk
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Let’s take a closer look at a few of the cacti found in Saguaro National Park. One of the first places to get out and walk that we encountered was a paved loop giving great views of a variety of cacti, a number of which were in flower or had fruit. There’s quite a bit of room between many of the cacti, but be careful where you step and don’t back up without looking!

Here’s a lovely bunch of prickly pear cactus with fruit. Prickly pear jelly can be found in the Southwest and the fruit can be eaten but you have to be very careful to completely removed the outside so no spines of any size are left. I think I’ll stick with jelly!

When I started this post I didn’t realize that cholla, the type of cactus I’m showcasing next, used to be part of the same genus as prickly pear, despite what this information board says, but have now been separated because of some differences we wouldn’t notice, . However, the board does show how important each part of the desert flora and fauna are.

I also didn’t realize that there are boatload of species of opuntia, not a hundred, but a LOT! If you’re interested in identifying the flowers, this is (un)likely to help and made me laugh:

The flowers are typically large, axillary, solitary, bisexual, and epiperigynous, with a perianth consisting of distinct, spirally arranged tepals and a hypanthium.

If you do know what all those mean, do NOT tell us or I will ban you from the blog and flog you with a wet noodle or possibly o-puntia you across the desert for being a showoff!

I believe this cholla is the staghorn

and this is apparently the Christmas cholla, although those thorns are no present.

Take time to check out the opuntia link above. You’ll be amazed at all the various uses, edible or otherwise, of these cacti.

Ok, we’re done walking for today, so you can all relax and sit down wherever you like, so long as it’s not anywhere near these guys. Where will we walk next time? Who knows?

BTW, tomorrow’s our 36th wedding anniversary, so you still have time to overnight that special gift if you hurry. Feel free to email for the address and thanks in advance. 🙂

for Jo’s Monday Walk 9.14.20

  1. Your post made me smile Janet! Interesting facts about these plants! BTW I know nothing about them! 😀 Happy anniversary !!

  2. peggyjoan42 says:

    I made prickly pear cactus jelly when I lived in Arizona years ago. Was delicious. – can’t really say what it tasted like, had a taste of its own. Loved all your photos. Happy Anniversary – I am sending you some clean air as a gift. I am sure the smoke from the wildfires is blocking your view. Ha

    • Seems like it would be a lot of work to make the jelly, having to carefully peel all the fruit. Easier to buy it, I think. 🙂 Thanks for the clean air. I haven’t really noticed anything until last night when the smell of smoke was quite strong. Not like being in California, though, so I’m very thankful.

  3. Dan Antion says:

    I was thinking of buying you the “Definitive Compendium of Cactus Terms,” but I’m guessing that’s out of the question. Maybe a book of math word problems. “Your walk begins at a 60-degree angle heading north…”

    Beautiful photos, Janet. Happy anniversary.

  4. I really enjoy looking at cacti. Have you been to Mojave National Preserve? Ive spent many weekends admiring the various cacti that grows there. Great post!

  5. What a completely new landscape to learn about. I love seeing all the different plants and animals there.

    • I’m always happy when you come along, Madison. Did you see the hawk I posted about some days back? I dedicated it to you. 🙂 We also saw a vermilion flycatcher that day, which was quite a find. I’m gradually starting to learn a bit about the part of the country, very different from where I’ve lived all my life.

  6. happyface313 says:

    🙂 The cacti look amazing, as do the Prickly Pears. I saw them in Palm Springs for the first time…love the purple color 💜!
    36 years…oh, my… ❤️❤️❤️:-)

    • Happy Monday, Claudia. I hope your week’s off to a great start. Yes, 36 years seems like quite a long time. Hard to remember when we weren’t married…but in a good way.

  7. Hammad Rais says:

    Thanks a lot for taking me along on this amazing walk with you, Janet.
    And many happy returns in advance to you and your hubby on scoring the 36th year. This certainly sounds so amazing 🙂

    • I’m glad you could walk along with me, Hammad, (and at no risk of getting poked by a cactus spine)! Thanks for the good wishes. Hard to imagine it’s been 36 years. 🙂 But they’ve been good years, so no complaints.

  8. What joy to walk among the cactus.

  9. Happy, happy anniversary, and I hope no one sends you anything prickly. 🙂 Have a great one.

    • Ha! Thank, Judy. It will be low-key but enjoyable. I have a nice meal planned that doesn’t take a lot of work and we’ll probably watch a movie and just relax. I’m blessed because I certainly can’t think of anything I need or want as an anniversary gift, although I’m pretty such my husband’s got something. But then, so do I. 🙂

  10. Amy says:

    Happy anniversary, Janet! 🙂

  11. restlessjo says:

    We have lots of the prickly pears here but I can’t say I’ve felt the need to do battle with them, Janet. I expect if they were good in a cake I’d have to consider it 🙂 🙂 Hope you have a lovely laidback day together tomorrow. Are his surprises usually edible?

  12. Lignum Draco says:

    I can’t even pronounce some of those words you mention, let alone know what they mean. Thanks for the tour, Janet.

  13. de Wets Wild says:

    Few things as refreshing as a prickly pear fruit from the fridge after you’ve struggled, using a fork and sharp knife, to peel the skin and fine spines off. Reminds me of summers with my grandparents on their farm.

  14. Thanks for an enjoyable walk through a very different landscape from what I usually see.
    Have a wonderful day … Be Safe
    Izzy 😎

  15. Resa says:

    Lol! The Christmas cholla made me think of a demented balloon creature. You know, where balloons are twisted up together, usually making an animal.
    Nice walk!

  16. They’re prickly but pretty when they have fruit on them. I had no idea there was a Christmas one!

  17. Rupali says:

    I am glad that you are taking care of the “walking” and i can relax. Thanks for sharing interesting information Janet.
    Congratulations on your anniversary.

  18. […] Monday walk…Careful where you step! […]

  19. That seems a very prickly walk! Have cut off a piece of prickly pear from Portugal and it is growing! Not sure best place for it though if it keeps growing. Happy anniversary.