My cactus.

My prickly pear cactus out back.

When we bought this house, we went from a yard that was about 1/10 of an acre to one that was about 3/4 of an acre.  I enjoyed taking the first walks around the back to discover the trees, flowers and other features that came with the deal.  One of them was a tiny little cactus, which uncharacteristically started growing in the very shady wooded part of our back yard.  But, still it was my first cactus, and the only one on our property, so I wanted to keep an eye on it.   In that first year it was pretty small, and ended up being run over by the lawnmower a couple times (you can see a cut on the top of one of the pads in the middle of the plant).  So a couple years ago I marked it with stones.

Several years I’ve had to go out and dust it to deter an infestation of cactus-sucker-bugs. The droughts have been tough, too, but, hey, it’s a cactus.   This is the 6th year since I discovered it, and this spring it is covered with lots of new pads.  And it’s finally getting some height.  The spines on the new pads are soft and green… but will soon turn into those horrible little spikes that you never want to touch.

Baby cactus pad.

Maybe next year we’ll be treated to a flower.