Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cactus Garden

Next to the rose garden on the east side of Park Blvd. you will find a cactus garden. One of my intern jobs at the Safari Park last summer was to inventory the plants in the Baja Garden. This meant donning long pants, long sleeves, and my giant sun hat, and spending a few days scrambling through the poky landscape to check the accession tags on the plants and match them to what the GIS database showed. It's from that project that I emerged with a love of agave (and I don't mean tequila!).

What I find most beautiful about agave is the way they have serrate imprints on their leaves from being tightly wrapped in the bud at the center of the plant.

There was also some yucca blooming in the cactus garden. That's a plant I have a particular respect for because I can't tell you how many times I'd come away with gashes on my legs after walking too close to one--even with long pants on!

You also have to respect the cacti with those tiny hairlike spines! You think you haven't touched them or you've avoided injury by not running into a large thorn, but the itty bitty ones get in your skin, are invisible, and just won't leave! I'm pretty sure there's still part of a thorn lodged in the pinkie of my left hand, though it's been a year since it found its way in there!

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