From a distance the stems of this cactus appear short and fuzzy,
giving it the name "teddy bear" cactus. HAH!
Well...this is the first "teddy bear" that ever "stuck" me!
And so, the story goes...Once upon a time...
...Some 20 years ago while on a vacation trip to Arizona we were out exploring the wonders of the Sonoran desert. After spotting a fairly good sized grouping of these beautiful cacti, backlit by the sun, we thought it would make a perfect setting for a photograph. As I knelt at the side of one of the cacti...a clump of the cactus broke off and actually embedded itself into my thigh..smack dab right through my JEANS! I did the "screamy frantic tourist dance" for a few minutes before I realized how serious it was. Then the long tedious effort of removing the spines began...and lasted well into the night. Long story short I have since learned to keep my distance!
Like its cousin the jumping cholla, the stems of this cactus detach easily. The ground around a mature plant is often littered with scattered cholla balls. Small plants start where these balls have rooted and a forest of cholla begins its life. When a piece of this cholla sticks to an unsuspecting person, a good method to remove the cactus is with a hair comb. (Wish I knew that then!) The spines are barbed, and hold on tightly. Desert pack rats gather these balls around their burrows, creating a defense against predators. Nature always finds a way, doesn't it?
this particular cholla flower bud...
...keeping my distance...
while hiking in the White Tank Mountains,
a couple of miles from where I presently live in Arizona.
My advice for the day:
Live and Learn!
and have a
Happy Cactus Monday All! :)