Every few years or so I come to the conclusion now I’ve solved it: I have understood the meaning of life and human behavior and every time it is revealed to me soon afterwards I have not. At least I thought I was beginning to understand cacti but they have all turned out not what they seemed.

It is spring time and the ocotillo have sprouted their orange cone shaped tops while the barrel cacti are producing flowers. The blooms are exquisite and appear out of nowhere, as if someone came along and randomly stuck on fake blossoms regardless of context.  Something is producing the allergies from hell; if I were up knowledgeable on the local flora I could tell you what is the culprit. To a sojourned Midwesterner like myself succulents look to have originated in outer space. Agaves produce (seemingly overnight) large 8ft tall flower stalks. I should take a botany course to learn to discriminate what is a native plan vs. a nasty invasive weed vs. a triffid.

Our backyard is in desperate in need of attendance.  Once again the potted things have died. We can’t keep up on the watering.  It’s time to wave the white flag and give up on growing anything but cacti. In three days we have visitors, both known for the gardening skills; we have  lots to tidy up and replace before their arrival. Happily they are from the Midwest and won’t be able to identity anything we will hastily pot from  Home Depot.

Just about everything in the yard has pricks and needles, some of them quite nasty. This makes movement around the yard hazardous. The pool man complains he can’t get at the apparati because he has to work around a prickly pear which is getting in his way. As it is one of the few ‘successful growers’ in the yard, I am dubious to move it.

Finally, I need to move the potted cacti away from the hot tub. They reach out in the night to chastise me for being out of doors without clothing.  Ouch.