Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

A hardy and hearty cactus

with 26 comments

Click for greater clarity.

And if you happen to be feeling out of sorts today and your disposition has turned rather prickly, then you can let this latest entry in our cactus series be an atypical, asymmetric, antithetical, and let’s hope only temporary Valentine.

(And to be anti-climactic, I’ll add that this photograph of an Opuntia engelmannii is from the same session on November 21, 2011, in my northwest Austin neighborhood that brought you close-ups of spines and glochids last week.)

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 14, 2012 at 1:12 PM

26 Responses

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  1. Haha. Love this!


    February 14, 2012 at 1:30 PM

  2. Hey! That’s very appropriate for today! 🙂 Cute!


    February 14, 2012 at 1:32 PM

  3. Love the spines. Would like to see a close up of those.

    Mark Sugden

    February 14, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    • If you follow the link within the text you can see a closeup of the glochids and the lower portion of the larger spines.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 14, 2012 at 4:34 PM

      • Thank you Steve. I admit I was so captivated by the picture, i didn’t read the post at first.

        An amazing plant, not something found in my part of the world, not in the wild anyway.


        Mark Sugden

        February 16, 2012 at 3:59 PM

      • Growing up in New York, I wasn’t familiar with cactus either, but now that I’ve lived in Texas for 36 years, the strange thing would be not to have prickly pears in the neighborhood. But then there are British things like heather that I’ve heard about all my life and never seen.

        Steve Schwartzman

        February 16, 2012 at 4:17 PM

  4. LOL thank you!

    Bonnie Michelle

    February 14, 2012 at 6:46 PM

  5. Perfect!

    Susan Scheid

    February 14, 2012 at 8:32 PM

  6. I love it and clearly remember one very much like it growing in the Arizona desert.


    February 14, 2012 at 10:43 PM

    • You must have seen all sorts of intriguing cacti when you lived in Arizona. Except for a couple of days at the Grand Canyon, I’ve never spent any time in Arizona. I need to go back and stay for a while.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 15, 2012 at 6:52 AM

  7. Ahh, a thorny heart! Perfect 🙂


    February 15, 2012 at 12:32 PM

  8. Love is like that sometimes. ~ Lynda


    February 17, 2012 at 5:32 AM

  9. Nice spot!


    February 17, 2012 at 6:48 AM

  10. Nice pic of the prickly pear! (You have spectacular pictures throughout your blog, and your language and formatting are immaculate!) I included pictures of heart-shaped prickly pear on my blog article “Heart 2 Heart” (http://whilldtkwriter.blogspot.com/). Those heart-shapes were at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Eh, don’t look too close at my photo or framing techniques from then; just a novice.


    March 8, 2012 at 7:35 AM

    • Thanks for appreciating the language and formatting on this blog. WordPress doesn’t give me much control of the formatting, and I wish I had a better font, but I proofread my text over and over. (Nevertheless, when you’re your own editor a mistake still inevitably gets through once in a while; the advantage of a blog, as opposed to a printed book, is that you can easily make corrections after the fact). It’s good that you found so many heart-shaped cactus pads when you were at the Wildflower Center; I once found one there that looked like a fish.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 8, 2012 at 8:46 AM

  11. Just perfect… Even the prickliest heart needs a bit of love. 🙂


    March 3, 2014 at 9:29 AM

  12. […] most common cactus in Austin is the prickly pear, Opuntia engelmannii var. lindheimeri, which has appeared here a bunch of times. When one of these […]

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