Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Prickly Pear

The bright red fruits of the Englemann prickly pear (Opuntia engelmannii) are eaten by a wide variety of animals - javelina, deer, birds, desert tortoises, packrats, and rabbits. They ripen in July and August and are especially plump and numerous this summer after all the monsoon rains. We've had a lot of storms - nearly twice the rainfall of our typical monsoon. Less than an inch more and our total rainfall will fall into the top 10 rainfalls of recorded history. 

2 comments:

Kris said...

We don’t like these guys here in Australia. They were bought out here in the nineteenth century for use as a natural agricultural fence and in an attempt to establish some sort of dye industry. Unfortunately, they liked the look of the place and pretty quickly became an invasive weed; we’re talking something like 40,000 square kilometres of farming land made unproductive.

That said, it is mighty pretty!

Paula said...

Tunas!