Thursday, March 22, 2012

First blooms

It is spring in Mesa and the cactus are in bloom. Nothing out of the ordinary. It happens every year.

But this year our very own Prickly Pear cactus burst open with blooms and I felt like I had given birth.

When we moved in last year, our little yard was bereft of any landscaping at all. No plants, flowers, bushes or trees of any kind.

So we got busy and planted an agave plant, a Prickly Pear cactus, a barrel cactus, and a fourth plant whose species escapes me.  Prickly Pears bare beautiful flower blossoms of varying colors, but you usually see shades of pink or rose.

These are the first blossoms from my neighbor's Prickly Pear.
When we arrived back to our winter home this year, we noticed our baby Prickly Pear had doubled in size. We were excited to see our new plantings had survived and looked healthy, despite being totally ignored by our six-month absence.

What a remarkable plant these cacti are. If they can flourish in the desert with blistering sun and no rain, I guess we shouldn't have been so surprised that they made it through the summer in our front yard.

Then recently we started to notice buds. Closed up tight, but definitely buds. We wondered if this year our little Prickly Pear would actually blossom. And, if so, what color? We assumed pink but we didn't see the pinkish tinge at the tip of the bud, as in our neighbor's plant.

Then one day, I peeked out the window in the early morning and had to go running outside in my pajamas to double check.

Two blossoms!

I could hardly contain myself. And they were YELLOW

Though certainly not rare, we have not seen another Prickly Pear with yellow flowers anywhere in our park.

Passers-by have stopped to look so we think they agree that our little Prickly Pear is beautiful. And we're like proud new parents watching people admire our little baby plant.

Aren't life's little treasures just the best?