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Saturday, March 27, 2021

Lilac-Violet Cactus Welcomes Spring in the Desert

 

chalkware chickens hen rooster vintage


Before showing off the "unicorn cactus" as I like to call it, here is my favorite kitchen decoration. These little chalkware chickens are always on display. The hen was painted by my son while I painted the rooster, when he was very little. I love children's artwork and handwork. Their creations are so open, so fresh! 

agave in spring cactus in las cruces nm


I had to mail some seeds that I sold, so I stopped by the landscaping at City Hall, which is downtown like the post office.
Spring arrived within a week: Trees that were bare last week are fuzzed with green this week.  Ice plants have dozens of blooms and have plumped up. The agaves (above) are stretching out. I think the center of the agave looks like a little dolphin face. And the prickly pears are barnacled with buds.

purple prickly pear santa rita cactus desert southwest


I am very partial to these
lilac-hued cactus, called Santa Rita prickly pears. They are a very unusual spot of pastel color in the landscape. In winter and early spring they are lilac and purple with aqua; by late spring and summer they will turn more a pastel blue gray.  In the landscape, they are striking. I wasn't the only one taking photos of them; in nearby Old Mesilla, tourists had phones in hand, taking photo after photo of the violet-hued prickly pears that line the famed La Posta restaurant's parking area.

lilac purple santa rita cactus

I know many of you are still awaiting spring to truly show herself! But when it is over 100 degrees here (37 C), you will be having the last laugh as everything dries up in the heat!

purple cactus santa rita prickly pear


Kind regards,

Olde Dame Holly



22 comments :

  1. No cacti here in wet Wales, but instead we have clear air which encourages ferns and mosses to grow on the trees. When the deciduous trees lose their leaves late Autumn, you can see the Oak Moss they are covered in - so pretty.

    I couldn't cope with 100 deg - I have chronic asthma so it wouldn't be too helpful to my breathing.

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    1. The long summers here are very hard to take! I have asthma, also, and it can get pretty tiring in the heat. I would love to see Wales, I do a lot of "computer traveling" to Wales (I can't even imagine how to pronounce many place names) and around the world but not actual traveling.

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  2. I would die in that heat, I almost keel over in our Summers, I much prefer Autumn and Spring.
    I've never seen cacti that colour before, so beautiful.
    Briony
    x

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    1. I love autumn and spring, too...the summers are very long and a bit much!

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  3. Such a beautiful display of cacti and a glorious colour.

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    1. Thank you, in the desert landscape they really stand out amazingly.

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  4. What memories, with your sweet chalkware chickens.

    I love those lilac hued cactus toooo. Have never seen such.

    Yes, our Spring has not sprung yet. But I can't imagine 100 degrees, all summer. -sigh- But if you live there, you are used to it.

    How did people do it, before A/C?

    "Miss BB"
    πŸŒ·πŸŒΈπŸŽ€πŸŒΈπŸŒ·

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  5. All of your cactus are gorgeous. My mother always had a cactus garden.

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  6. The rooster and hen are cute and just right for Spring and Easter.
    I like those unusual-coloured Cacti. I'd be taking pictures too!

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  7. Awww...the hen and rooster are absolutely precious! Even more so given the memories they are imbued with. I agree - the artwork of children is magical. Love the photos of the cacti...I don't recall ever seeing the Santa Ritas either... And I will never look at an agave again without looking for the little dolphin face! Perfect description! Your conversation with your follower from Wales puzzles me a bit as far as the asthma issue goes. My mum's sister suffered from very serious asthma and actually moved TO the desert (Mesa) as that is what her physicians recommended? She actually lived there for as long as I remember. I had assumed that it ws because there wasn't the extreme humidity we have here....That, I find, makes breathing a challenge for anyone. ~Robin~

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    1. I don't think it is the heat here as much as it is the dust storms of summer, or the monsoon season when the humidity is also high. High humidity is so miserable, but it's only a few weeks here during monsoons. Our monsoon season isn't even as long as Arizona's. Then I have trouble getting a good breath. But the low humidity is very helpful the rest of the time! And good for arthritis, too. I bet your aunt's asthma was helped by the desert, especially if she also had "refrigerated air." Until recently, most of southern New Mexico did NOT have refrigerated air, just swamp coolers, BOO!

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  8. You are so talented and you son is as well. I've never seen prickly pears in those lavender hues. Very interesting.

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  9. From the chickens through the cactus, lovely color.

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  10. Love the lilac cactus, a friend has an ancient one, I think I need to be a thief in the night!

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    Replies
    1. Would always be glad to ship you a pad! They grow so easily.

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  11. So pretty and a very unusual color in nature. Yes we are still waiting for spring here we are getting days in the 60s now and then but we still have a patch of snow to go and maybe one last snow in the forecast for next week.
    Cathy

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  12. Wow, those lilac cactuses are amazing! I've never seen them before. They really are a purple color, cool. I can see why people were taking pictures of them. Yes, you're right, I do see a little dolphin's face in the agaves photo. That is really unusual looking and pretty. It kind of looks like a rose bud in full bloom. Oh, I just love your chalkware chickens. They are sooooo cute. I bet the hen painted by your son is a treasure for you.

    Have a nice Sunday, Holly. It's starting to be my favorite day of the week, a day of rest. : )

    ~Sheri

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  13. Living in Tucson for a decade, I really enjoyed the desert landscape!! As I do your photos. You mentioned yucca in your comment to me...do you have ocotillo there? (It was a favorite of mine)

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    1. Yes, we have ocotillos in the yard and they grow all over nearby in the national park, too!

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  14. I love the cactus! Someone has one that is planted along the side of the road and I love it each year that it blooms these beautiful yellow flowers - And how it survives Virginia is a little mind-boggling. A tribute to blooming where you're planed!

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