That should probably be a rhetorical question, but it is one I have been asking myself for the last fifteen hours or so.
As many of you know we recently moved to a new home following the earthquake that hit our area last month. We really hated leaving that home. It was especially hard for us to leave so many of the plants we had planted and cultivated with love for so many years.
We had an area we referred to as, “cactus row” along the front of the parking lot that had several unique types of cacti growing in it. Regular readers may remember this picture of a small prickly pear plant Mary liked to call Mickey and Minnie.
The little prickly pear cactus continued to grow and looked like this a few months later.
I really wanted to keep this plant, so I (very carefully) worked today to dig it up and put it into a pot to bring over to the new house.
We also had some unusual succulent plants that I decided to dig up to replant at the new house.
Then I arranged the plants carefully in my duffle bag with the prickly pear safely down and covered. The succulents were extended out of the top of the bag a bit, but they were only harmless succulent plants. Right?
I swung the duffle bag up over the shoulder of my sleeveless shirt with my gloveless hands and got about ten feet down the driveway before I realized that somehow I must have misplaced the prickly pear cactus to where it was rubbing on my side and penetrating through my shirt.
Oh well, there was no turning back now, so I kept peddaling the half mile or so over to our new home. By the time I got home I realized something worse than the prickly pear plant was attacking me. The prickly pear plant was securely deep in the bag, but a closer look at the “harmless” succulent plants showed that they too are armed with little barbed hooks.
The cheery green succulent has its’ barbs cleverly hidden along the underside of the spine of its’ leaves.
I would have taken more pictures of the barbs along the leaves except that most of the leaves were rubbed clean of barbs which had found a new home in my side, along my back, over my shoulder, and in my hands and wrists! Mary and I had been invited to dinner at our friend Rich’s house, so I got cleaned up and gritted my teeth knowing that it would be several hours before the stabbing pain subsided.
I got the little buggers into pots and hopefully they will take root and be transplantable to some corner of our new yard soon. You can bet that I will be wearing gloves and being especially careful the next time I try to move these cacti!
They say that one gets smarter with age, but apparently some things take longer for some of us to learn than it does for others. Is it wise to move cacti? Yes, but not with bare hands and a sleeveless shirt and a dufflebag slung over your shoulder on a bicycle. Oh goody, another lesson learned here where…
Life is good in Ecuador!