Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Prickly Pears

Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o’clock in the morning.
—T.S. Eliot (“The Hollow Men”)

I don't dance around my prickly pear cactus. But I do like to look at it. I can look at the prickly pear in my yard and watch the seasons change.

In late spring, the pads (called cladodes) sprouted an abundance of yellow blossoms. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the blossoms this year. The above picture was taken a week or so before they bloomed.

Later in the summer, the fruit looked like toes.

Finally, on this warm October day, the fruit has turned maroon, a proper autumn color.

To some, a prickly pear is a weed; I think it’s a flower. I’ve had mine over a decade. A friend in Roanoke gave me some pads which quickly took root and flourished. When I left Roanoke, I brought some pads with me. They took root and flourished, too. They’ve been flourishing (spreading!) here since 1999

My husband likes to eat the fruit. He says it tastes like beets. I’ve tried it but didn't care for the taste. Some people eat it, though, and some make jelly from it.

I just like to look at it.

Prickly pear is mentioned in another poem—but not in a flattering way.



Blogger CountryDew said...

Wow, the red is really pretty. I don't think I've ever seen that before.

9:39 AM  
Blogger Marion said...

I am not a fan of cacti, but if we continue to have summers like this last one, that may be all that will grow here...

11:08 AM  
Blogger Debi said...

I've had prickly pear jelly. It was good. I didn't know it was actually a cactus!

My neighbors have one of them. I guess they grow well around here.

10:46 PM  

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