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. 


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...