Friday, August 24, 2007
The thorny desert and a dog
This is a prickly place. Pono has had some encounters with the cholla (pronounced "choya") here that have left us on the floor with tweezers, trying to get the cactus spines out. The cholla is probably the most prolific of the spiny things here, but when you start to walk around, everything seems prickly. I hope he learns to avoid them soon. Cholla has earned the nickname "jumping cholla" because the spines seem to almost jump on you as you brush past. However, they don't actually jump on you, as I can attest to, since I got very close taking photos of them. They actually have segments that come off very easily, and those segments are what stick into clothing, skin and dog fur (and dog feet and anything else that gets too close!) The other thing that makes it that much more sinister is the fact that most of these cholla have a circle of dropped spiny segments on the ground around them. So if you are planning on walking near a cholla cactus, wear big boots! Another name for this cactus is "velas de coyote" or "coyote candles". That seems appropriate, since we have had numerous coyote sightings since we moved here.
Upon close inspection, I did find two different cholla with bird's nests in them. How clever of those birds to build a home surrounded by such a nasty looking barbed wire fence! Who would want to venture closer? It seems as though the bird most likely responsible for the nests is the cactus wren. I didn't actually see a bird, so I can't confirm this. This first nest looks like it was abandoned unfinished. According to a website I found on google, it is possible that the bird may also be a curved bill thrasher, but I really won't commit to that information, either.
In other news, I just listed a new (framed) monotype on etsy today! Click here to visit that and other goodies in my etsy shop.