December 2007

Misc31 Dec 2007 01:02 pm

A strange article about what they used to do to celebrate christmas in Florida, from the <a href=";entry_id=1543" title="" onmouseover="window.status=’';return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Tampa Bay Beacon</a>.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">Christmases past in Florida<br />
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The beauty of a Florida sandman is the sun won’t melt it. The only danger is high tide.<br />
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Cactus-fruit pies, jousting competitions, contraband bottles of whisky washing ashore have made for some memorable Christmases past in Florida.</span><br /></div><br />I don’t know what they’re talking about. This is quite the mystery. Are any of my readers long-time Florida residents who know what this means?<br /><br />I didn’t think so.<br /><br />

Misc31 Dec 2007 08:49 am

<a href=";entry_id=1540" title="" onmouseover="window.status=’′;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Oklahoma State</a> is going to the Insight Bowl (it’s a football thing) in Phoenix and some local fans are making tourist recommendations.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">Oklahoma State football fans heading for the Insight Bowl in Arizona are in for some real treats and the lucky ones will plan on spending extra time in the area….<br />
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No. 1 on my do-not-miss list is the Desert Botanical Garden with 50 acres of trails. From towering cardon and saguaro cactus to rotund barrel cactus, the walks are lined with more than 50,000 specimens of cacti, succulents and desert wildflowers.<br />
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Birders flock here, too, to see cactus wrens.</span><br /></div><br />OK.<br /><br />

Science30 Dec 2007 08:44 am

It’s science day at cactus blog, and so we bring you <a href=";entry_id=1539" title="" onmouseover="window.status=’';return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">to the world of science</a>!<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">Q: Do cacti have leaves?<br /><br />A: In most (cactus) species, except for the sub-family of the Pereskioideae, the leaves are greatly or entirely reduced….<br />
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Cacti are commonly used for fencing material where there is a lack of either natural resources or financial means to construct a permanent fence. This is often seen in arid and warm climates, such as the Masai Mara in Kenya. This is known as a cactus fence.</span><br /></div><br />

Blogs29 Dec 2007 11:27 am

<a href=";entry_id=1553" title="" onmouseover="window.status=’';return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Lambert at Corrente explains it all.</a><br /><br /><br /><br />

National Parks29 Dec 2007 09:52 am

The Helena National Forest has a lovely <a href=";entry_id=1552" title="" onmouseover="window.status=’';return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Lewis and Clark Expedition</a> page, and in the frosty winter I thought I’d share a cactus bloom with you.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;"><img width="142" hspace="5" height="212" border="2" align="left" src="/blog/uploads/misc/lc_prickleypear.jpg" />The Three Forks, the headwaters of the Missouri River offered the exhausted travelers a short reprieve. The men hunted, fished and worked skins into leather for clothes and moccasins. The captains took map readings and scouted ahead. For Sacajawea, this was the place where she had been captured and taken to the Mandan village. Recognizing her homeland and assuring them that her people were near, boosted the men’s spirits.<br />
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The expedition did eventually find the Shoshone and obtained horses, thanks in large part to Sacajawea. After several more months of strenuous travel through the mountains and down the Columbia River, in November 1805, they finally reached the Pacific Ocean.</span><br /></div><br />

News28 Dec 2007 12:37 pm

Is it art? Novelty? Nuisance? In <a href=";entry_id=1538" title="" onmouseover="window.status=’';return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">San Marcos, TX</a> they’ll be deciding soon.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">A decision on whether a car-turned-cactus planter outside a San Marcos novelty shop is art or a public nuisance will not be made until next year.<br />
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The case… was reset for 2 p.m. on Jan. 10. The car was deemed a “public nuisance” in November by San Marcos Code Enforcement Officers…<br />
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However, local resident Joe Ptak, also a store manager, says the car, in this case an Oldsmobile, is a franchise trademark and a work of art. It was ceremoniously smashed by store patrons during grand opening festivities. Local artists have since covered it with original works and a variety of cactus plants have been put into its gutted interior.</span><br /></div><br />The <a href=";entry_id=1538" title="" onmouseover="window.status=’';return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Austin Statesman</a> has a picture.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;"><img width="400" hspace="5" height="258" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/misc/image_6349624a.jpg" /><br /> Ralph Barrera AMERICAN-STATESMAN<br />
To celebrate its opening in San Marcos, Planet K demolished an Oldsmobile, planted cacti and had it decorated by local artists. Sales associate Erin Wall looks it over.<br /><br /></span></div>I say it’s a novelty nuisance art.<br /><br />

Videos - Instructional28 Dec 2007 09:26 am

My brother David the professional animator saw my new video from yesterday and has come up with a new set design to improve the future videos. I agree with him. Will my loyal readers build it for me? In the meantime, I’ll be adding more videos using the old set. Maybe I’ll move inside too.<br /><br /><img width="432" hspace="5" border="0" src="/blog/uploads/misc/layout_for_video.jpg" /><br /><br />Thank you, Dave.<br /><br />[Update: <a href=";entry_id=1547" title="" onmouseover="window.status=’';return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Here’s his IMDB page</a>.]<br /><br />

Whippets28 Dec 2007 08:35 am

Benjamin and Matthew at the nursery on a cold day.

News27 Dec 2007 12:13 pm

The <a href=";entry_id=1535" title="" onmouseover="window.status=’';return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Wall Street Journal’s India edition</a> (I think that’s what it is) has a garden column.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">(I) set off on the coldest day of the season, to Faridabad… looking for a garden that someone had told me about. All the way there… I wondered why I was taking the trouble….<br />
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The garden has one of the best cactus and succulent collections in the NCR, if not in the country. Most were picked up on Jhanb’s visits to Bangkok. He even has the insect-eater plant….<br />
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Little wonder that visitors pour in even on foggy December mornings and settle down to sing bhajans.</span><br /></div><br />I wonder if bread will mold faster if I keep the house at a constant 68 degrees? Maybe I should try refrigeration.<br /><br />

Videos - Instructional27 Dec 2007 09:26 am

Here we are nearly 8 years into the 21st century, and I have yet to make an instructional cactus video. Until now. My first one is a little raw, but it is intense, direct, simple, and informational too. Give it a shot.<br /><br /><object width="425" height="350"><param value="" name="movie" /><embed width="425" height="350" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="" adblockframedobject="true" adblockframedobject2="true" adblockframename="adblock-frame-n7" /><br />
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Blogs26 Dec 2007 02:30 pm

As long as we’re on the Peyote beat, here’s a photo of a Lophophora diffusa in it’s native habitat.<br /><br /><img width="432" hspace="5" height="324" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/misc/Lophophoradiffusa1.jpg" /><br /><br /><a href=";entry_id=1533" title="" onmouseover="window.status=’';return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Original (larger) photo</a> on wikimedia commons by <a target="_blank" href=";entry_id=1533" title="" onmouseover="window.status=’';return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Kauderwelsch</a>.<br /><a href=";entry_id=1533" title="" onmouseover="window.status=’';return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Link with more photos</a> via lophophora blog.<br /><br />

Environment26 Dec 2007 01:15 pm

ABC News reports on the <a href=";entry_id=1532" title="" onmouseover="window.status=’′;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Bad Times for Peyote Harvesters</a>. The article is the same wire story I’ve already posted about, but they add this bit to the mix:<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;"><img width="413" hspace="5" height="310" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/misc/ap_peyote_071217_ms.jpg" /><br />This is a commonly found peyote plant, photographed March 20, 2004, it is often confused with the rare star cactus that is an endangered species found only in certain parts of northern Mexico and Starr County, Texas. A first ever study of this star cactus is being done on land purchased by the Nature Conservancy under a species recovery plan directed by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife. It is believed by people conducting the study that there are only 2,000 or so of the starcactus left in the wild. The location is kept secret because of poachers who can get a large sum of money for the cactus. (Joe Hermosa/ AP Photo )</span><br /></div><br />

Science26 Dec 2007 11:10 am

Too much family hanging around? Feeling a little woozy from the Uncle and his Ron Paul talk? Did you just drink too much yesterday and now you’ve woken up with <a href=";entry_id=1531" title="" onmouseover="window.status=’';return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">a hangover?</a> Well, it’s too late for cactus to help. You should have eaten a pad before you started drinking at 7am yesterday morning.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">A new study has revealed that eating the prickly plant before boozing prevents post-alcohol sickness and headaches. Researchers at the Tulane University, New Orleans say that the cactus’ atypical carbohydrates obstruct the gut absorbing too many sugars. “Many of the health benefits of cactus are related to its water-retaining properties,” The Sun quoted lead researcher Prof Tony Blake, as saying. “It is a good source of vitamins A, B, C and K and contains many essential minerals,” he added. </span><br /></div><br />Now you know, so you have no excuses for the future. And it makes a delicious aperitif too.<br /><br />

News26 Dec 2007 10:10 am

What to do with the kids on winter break? <a href=";entry_id=1530" title="" onmouseover="window.status=’′;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">In Tucson</a> they garden.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">With the school break upon us, and the kids getting bored… It’s time to get outside and do something real. Simply puttering around, putting things to right in the landscape can be very relaxing. Have the kids help. Put them to work….<br />
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If you simply must feel productive, right now is a fine time to add mulch against frost… Just don’t mulch the inch or so right next to the trunk, which could encourage rot. Mulch will help save water in summer, too. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Just don’t mulch succulents like cacti and agave.</span></span><br /></div><br />My parents never gardened with us when we were little. They kept it all to themselves. Well, no, they did no gardening themselves either.<br /><br />

Misc25 Dec 2007 08:50 am

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Travel24 Dec 2007 01:15 pm

It has been brought to my attention that Saturday’s post about cactus massage, which referred to a previous post indicating that there is more than one spa that does cactus massage, was in fact referring to the <span style="font-style: italic;">same</span> spa that does cactus massage. I have been told there is only <span style="font-style: italic;">one</span> spa that does this special technique. Well, you can be the judge of that. First we have <a href=";entry_id=1525" title="" onmouseover="window.status=’';return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Saturday’s post</a>, from the Halifax Daily News:<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">The 160-hectare Four Seasons resort in Irving, just outside Dallas…</span><br /></div><br />And now we have a <a href=";entry_id=1525" title="" onmouseover="window.status=’';return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">post from 2 weeks</a> ago from the Toronto Star, suspiciously also Canadian.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">The Spa and Salon at the Four Seasons Resort cultivates a calming balance…</span><br /></div><br />Now you can decide for yourself. Are there one or two spas featuring the cactus massage? Go on, decide….<br /><br />

Misc24 Dec 2007 07:35 am

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Misc23 Dec 2007 08:14 am

It may be too late for christmas, but then I’ve never cross-stitched a doilie, so maybe not.<br /><br /><img width="300" hspace="5" height="401" border="0" src="/blog/uploads/misc/cross_stitch_10089-3.gif" /><br /><br />It’s a cross stitch cactus from <a href=";entry_id=1527" title="" onmouseover="window.status=’';return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;"></a>, as if you didn’t know.<br /><br />

Photography22 Dec 2007 02:29 pm

One of the first pictures I took for the nursery about 5 years ago was this lovely succulent. Back then, I was trying different backgrounds. Having decided that the greenhouse did not make a good backdrop, I took a few pictures in the dining room. It’s not bad.<br /><br /><img width="216" hspace="5" height="288" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/cactus/ceraria_pygmae.JPG" /><br /><br />Ceraria pygmaea<br /><br />

Travel22 Dec 2007 08:11 am

I recently posted about a spa that does cactus massages, and now here’s another one. From a travel article in the Halifax Daily News.

The 160-hectare Four Seasons resort in Irving, just outside Dallas… offered two unusual treatments which seemed an ideal part of a trip to Texas. For the gentlemen, it was the Cowboy Massage…For the ladies, something even more exotic – the prickly pear cactus body glaze. This smooth, soothing gel, rich in amino acids, was massaged slowly into the skin from toes to shoulder.

Juicy. Interesting how they use the terms “For the gentlemen” and “For the ladies.” Those Canadians are just a little loopy.

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