the lovely, oft misunderstood cactus


I am not entirely sure when I realized I was in love with all things cactii. Probably wasn’t when I was living in Minnesota. Or England. But now that the fam and I are back in SoCal I have rediscovered these highly personable – that’s right, personable – flora in a whole new way. I just can’t get enough of them. The vendor at my local farmer’s market surely brightens at my approach on Saturday mornings, even on bad days when it seems no one is buying anything. He sees me and I am sure he breathes a sigh of relief. He didn’t pack his truck for nothing.

I may not know when I began this strange love affair, but I do know why. I love the art of story and the characters that inhabit them. Take a look at any cactus and tell me you can’t see there is a personality inside their fabulous forms and features. And wherever there is something with a personality there is a story.

Cactii are beautiful and dangerous. Resilient and yet quiet. Stoic and yet yielding. You can’t pierce a coconut with a spear, but you can a cactus and it will bleed its succulence all over the blade. That just amazes me. They look like they should have personal names. First and last. And voices.

My family knows this.

So guess what I got for Mother’s Day?

Here are the new arrivals – along with a couple cast members from recent events like my birthday and Christmas. Like I said, my family knows what I love. . .

Author: Susan

This post has 7 Comments

  1. Sarah N Fisk on May 11, 2010 at 4:16 am

    Oh I love cacti too! The “Arid garden” is my favorite part of our botanical gardens. I actually wrote a (shorter) post about this around the beginning of April and this is the character I saw in them:

    “I think maybe it's because desert plants are the bad-boys of the plant world. They're all like, “Why doesn't anyone else want to live here with these awesome snakes and lizards? You said it rains three days a year and there's no break from the sun? That's cool. What do you mean you need dirt to grow in, you pansy? I'll settle down in this gravel between these two boulders. Oh yeah, baby, check out this vascular system!”

  2. MommaMindy on May 11, 2010 at 4:35 am

    I never would have given cactii a second thought, until I read this blog. The photography was great, but the thought of “characters inhabiting them” is swirling around new appreciation in my mind. Thanks for opening my mind with the secret of their personalities.

  3. Wendy Paine Miller on May 11, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    And to think, I got a B&N gift certificate so I can read more about those wonderful personalities in books.

    I'm afraid my thumb is anything but green.

    They are beautiful btw.
    ~ Wendy

  4. Nicole on May 12, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Have you named 'em yet, Sooz?

    They're special and unique. Love 'em.

  5. Nicole Unice on May 13, 2010 at 7:12 am

    I appreciate the beauty in the uniqueness of a cactus. And I appreciate even more your ability to draw that out in this post! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Susan Meissner on May 14, 2010 at 3:32 am

    Thanks for your comments, galz. Yes, I would agree cactii are flora with attitude!

    I am working on those names. . . Suggestions?

  7. Nicole on May 15, 2010 at 12:23 am

    Petticoat; Lolita; Dolly; Eustace.

    😉

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