May 3, 2021

THE OPULENT OPUNTIA

By admin

This cactus is too regal to be diminished by its plebeian other name: prickly pear. I prefer Opuntia. It’s almost Shakespearean.

These cactuses, some taller than me, line a few feet of the long winding walkway in BioD. They stand stoic in the sun in their pink and yellow and orange jewellery like some forgotten, displaced royalty.

Ants big and small, glistening like black gemstones, navigate the thorns and glochids, those fine bristles that I later find embedded in the back of my hand. I’ve been following their ant-ics a little too closely.

Mindfulness can lead to mindlessness.

There’s a peacock peeking out from the foliage across the cactus colony. His breeding plumage is full, heavy and shimmery, like bridal finery.

This is peacocking season after all, and the Opuntias are attending.