Bishop’s Cap Flowers - Old Faithful

Old Faithful

I have lost count of how many flowers have opened on our little Bishop’s Cap barrel cactus. We have had this cactus for almost twenty years and it just keeps on making flowers all year long. This batch opened yesterday morning on the courtyard patio.

Our “old Faithful” cactus just keeps on going like the Ever Ready Bunny™. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Rescued Hedgehog Cactus

Rescued Hedgehog Cactus

During a recent construction dig east of the house, a careless backhoe operator dumped a load of dirt on a hedgehog cactus down the road from us. Verna and I, after seeing this little disaster, decided to take the wheelbarrow and shovel to the site and dig out the damaged cactus.

All six of the lobes we dug out had cactus flower pods. We transplanted three of the lobes to the front rock garden and the other three were placed in pots pending finding a location for them.

Verna took this photo of one lobe in a pot with an open flower. Click on the image to enlarge. The three lobes in the front yard also have open flowers and we’re still waiting for the other two in pots to open.

Despite being buried in dirt, one of the lobes down the road had a flower pod above ground and it, too, had opened. These are hardy cacti, indeed.

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Wascally Wabbit

Wascally Wabbit

Earlier in the week, Verna and I planted a small cactus in the rock and cactus garden. The cactus had been growing in a small pot on the patio and it was time to put it in the ground.

Not long after the cactus was out there, we noticed that something had been nibbling at the paddles. We suspected rabbits, squirrels and possibly jackrabbits.

I went out in the courtyard today to photograph a large sunspot. After I finished that, I wanted to take some pictures of whatever showed up. Sure enough, a large black tailed jackrabbit hopped into the area where the cactus was and took nibbles from it. I got this shot from the courtyard about fifteen yards from where the jack paused when it noticed me.

In the foreground of the photo, you may be able to see the victimized cactus, albeit a bit out of focus. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Cabela Jumps for Joy

Cabela Jumps for Joy

When the Mama starts fixing breakfast for me and Bay Bay, I get so excited that I jump up and down until the Mama brings the bowls to us. I also jump when I am excited about going out, coming in, getting a treat or just about anything when I’m about to get what I want.

The Daddy took this picture of me when I was up in the air this morning. Click on me to make me big.

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First Spring Cholla Flower

Cholla Flower

Only a day after I posted a photo of cholla buds, the first flower has opened on a cactus beside the driveway. Bob, who took this photo, had to venture through some of the desert brush and terrain to get close enough to take the picture. Click on the image to enlarge.

Buckhorn cholla seem inhospitable for humans and most reptiles, but the birds do not seem to have a problem with them. We have a curve billed thrasher nest in our cholla out in front of the house, and, down the road, we found a nest that we think belongs to a pair of mourning doves. We think that we saw motion inside that nest. We may be lucky enough to get photos of the hatchlings one of these times.

Stay tuned! Spring has just barely sprung!

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Cholla Flowers Coming

Cholla Flower Buds

Buckhorn Cholla cacti are growing in many places on the portion of our lot that is still natural desert. We were up on the hill today and I took this close-up of a cluster of flower buds on one of the plants.

In less than a month and continuing into summer, the various cholla will have yellow to orange flowers in bloom. We don’t exactly know why, but some of the cholla have flowers later in the spring season than others.

When the flowers do open, just look and don’t get your nose in close to smell them. You just might get one of those spikes in your face. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Happy First Day of Spring

Beavertail Cactus First Day of Spring

I photographed several of the beavertail cacti along the RV drive today. This large one, in particular, has been very prolific in the production of new paddles and flower pods this year.

Many of the cacti that we have transplanted are doing so well that, after this season, we will have to trim them back from the RV drive and either transplant the cut paddles or discard them. It seems a shame to do so, because of the beautiful flowers, but this variety is very aggressive and relatively immune to being eaten by the wildlife.

We also have some hedgehog cacti that need to be divided and relocated. We will do that after the flowers are gone for the year. The hedgehogs don’t spread as aggressively as the beavertails, but a couple of them are getting pretty big.

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