Cactus Flowers

We have a huge cholla cactus in our backyard. I wrote about it last year, around this time, and you can check out that post here. (It was a post about how I put Claire a little too close to it during a photo shoot, and she tried to touch the pretty flowers, resulting in Momma and Daddy learning how to remove cactus spines…)

Things are blooming a little later this year than last year, and this cactus has finally exploded into its wonderful magenta color. I dare say that the wonderful color almost detracts from the neighbor’s ramshackle fence and the weeds. 😉

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Cactus in Bloom, June 2008

As you can see, it’s almost regained most of its height. About four years ago, we got four feet of snow in one fell swoop, during an uncharacteristically bad spring storm. That wreaked havoc all over our city, but most importantly, broke our cactus. The poor thing couldn’t withstand the weight of all the snow and it fell in on itself. We weren’t sure how long it would take for it to reach back up to where it was. Well, it’s made it!

It’s almost five feet high and nearly eight feet wide. And to think the original owners brought it home in a coffee cup.

Granted, that was over 30 years ago…

And, to give some perspective as to how big it is, here is a picture of Claire standing next to it. The first one was taken last year and is one of the pictures that resulted in our impromptu cactus spine removal session. The second picture was taken Sunday evening. (You can see the difference in light between morning and evening, and the cactus is on an incline, so it may be hard to tell how tall it is, based on Claire’s height…but I love seeing the difference a year makes!)

As you can see, both Claire and the cactus have grown.

Cactus in Bloom, June 2007 Claire and the Cactus in Bloom, June 2008

So, like the iris and the roses, we inherited this gorgeous plant. And, just like with the iris and the roses, I can’t take credit for its success. I’m merely along for the ride. I mean, it has little offshoots that grow near the base of it, and we do replant them in other places throughout our landscaping design. We also clean the trash out of it (you’d be amazed at the things that blow over the fence from the street in back) and pull the weeds around it (albeit not that often and not before taking these pictures *cough*), but other than that, it grows all on its own.

Every year, by the time the first day of summer rolls around, I wait anxiously for the magenta blooms to start glowing, wondering when we’ll get a glimpse of this breath-taking color.

Cactus Bloom, June 2008

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