Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Two holes in one

with 19 comments

Prickly Pear Cactus Pad with Two Holes in It  7339

Here’s a return to a subject treated on January 30: a prickly pear cactus pad with a hole in it. Not wanting to repeat myself, I’m offering you a photograph of a prickly pear pad with two holes in it. I noticed this specimen in my neighborhood on February 7 when I’d almost left the undeveloped property where I’d found a budding agarita. The prickly pear was in a hard place to photograph and was partly shaded by a tree, but I found a spot on the ground where I could gingerly lie down and take a few pictures of the cactus for the record. I faced up to those difficulties, and your imagination may face up to what could be an elongated green visage with two hollow eyes. Okay, it’s no Modigliani, but take it for what it’s worth.

UPDATE: Holes like this may be caused by fungi in the genus Phyllosticta, as I found in this article.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 1, 2013 at 6:14 AM

19 Responses

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  1. Clearly, you’ve stumbled across Area 51 East. How else to explain your prickly pear’s resemblance to this?


    March 1, 2013 at 7:30 AM

  2. So what ate the hole in the cactus, this wondering mind wants to know?

    Pat Bean

    March 1, 2013 at 7:52 AM

  3. That’s exactly what I was thinking!


    March 1, 2013 at 9:56 AM

    • You mean that someone had shot holes in the cactus? Or probably you meant that you saw a face.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 1, 2013 at 2:06 PM

  4. I was thinking Alien, too. Cleverly done, Steve.


    March 1, 2013 at 12:05 PM

  5. I like it! Gingerly lying down around there sounds dangerous.


    March 1, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    • Oh, it is. There’s hardly a time when I go out photographing in nature here in Texas that I don’t get scratched or poked or bitten by something. We have more than enough to go around, alas.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 1, 2013 at 11:44 PM

  6. Il te regarde. Ca ferait un beau masque qui ne manquerait pas de piquants 😉


    March 2, 2013 at 4:25 AM

  7. Here’s a cultural tidbit for you, from Andrea Camilleri’s novel, “The Potter’s Field”.

    …The new Mafia fired their guns pell-mell and in every direction, at old folks and kids, wherever and whenever, and never deigned to give a reason or explanation for what they did.

    With the old Mafia, it was different. They explained, informed, and clarified. Not aloud, of course, or in print. No. But through signs. The old Mafia were experts in semiology, the science of signs used to communicate.
    Murdered with a thorny branch of prickly pear placed on the body? “We did it because he pricked us one too many times with his thorns and troubles.”


    March 2, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    • Now that’s a use of prickly pear I’ve never heard of—and hope I don’t encounter. That would be a lot worse than the usual damages the cacti inflict on me.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 2, 2013 at 1:03 PM

  8. God forbid you should repeat yourself! We are the beneficiaries, though, for this is priceless. I see Modigliani in it.

    Susan Scheid

    March 2, 2013 at 1:51 PM

  9. I admire your commitment having dealt with the oft-unseen needles on the ground! Great shot!

    Tina Schell

    March 4, 2013 at 8:14 AM

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