On the first Sunday of each month, I drive 226 miles round-trip up to Long Beach to attend the monthly meeting of the Long Beach Cactus Club. I guess you could say I’m dedicated to this cactus thing.
I have an intermediate stop at the La Costa Park & Ride to pick up Annie Morgan, Program Chair (and more!) of the Palomar Cactus & Succulent Society in Escondido, California.
Usually I get there a couple of minutes later than my ETA because traffic conditions just are not consistent in large metroplexes. This past Sunday, though, I got there 30 minutes early, and it’s only a 40-minute drive. I did not speed. Believe me.
Whenever I get somewhere early, I make it a point to walk around and explore, never knowing what I might find. This past Sunday I found this pretty little flower:
Exploring paid off! That picture will make a nice puzzle or something, especially if I can find out the name of the plant.
I have no idea what the plant is. It was bare of leaves but with many dozens of half-inch pink flowers, looking very beautiful in the dry heat where I found it.
Back in 1966 when I was under the tutelage of my wise old grandmother, I had a little cactus garden. Nothing but cactus. Little plants with spines and thorns. Lots of owees did I get. They were painful, but nothing that a teenager couldn’t handle. If I could handle grandmother whippings with an oleander switch, heck, I could handle just about anything.
Fast forward 50 years and the closest I get to those little plants with those spines and thorns is about four inches away but protected by the lens of my camera.
Last Friday I went to the Super Succulents Celebration hosted by Waterwise Botanicals in Bonsall, about 40 miles north of where I live.
Since waterwise plants include cactus, there were a lot of cactus on the grounds of this huge plant nursery comprising over twenty not-flat acres. Speaking from experience, don’t try to walk all those acres at one time.
Having been there before, I knew to take my Canon 760D camera and all three of my lenses, a Tamron 18-300m, a Tamron 90mm macro, and a Tamron 150-600mm. There were so many plants in bloom that all I used was my macro lens.
Here are four of my favorite cactus spine and thorn macro pictures:
If you look closely at the third picture, you can see a few translucent circles at the bottom of that spine. Those are raindrops. It had rained earlier that day, so I got lots of extraordinary macro pictures of raindrops on cactus and succulents. I will share them in my next post.
I usually dislike the rain, intensely, but now that I have a 90mm macro lens, I still dislike the rain, intensely.
However, since Mother & Father Nature don’t really listen to me when it comes to rain, well, I deal with it.
In this case, I went out to my cactus & succulent gardens and started taking macro pictures of raindrops on the little plants.
As I was taking pictures, I was singing “raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens.” I have the whiskers on kittens but I don’t have any roses. The police stopped and threatened to arrest me because I was singing “raindrops on roses” but didn’t have any roses. Who knew?
I was standing over a “black rose aeonium” (Aeonium arboreum ‘Swartkop’) with little raindrops on the leafies. As soon as I said “rose,” the rose police backed off and apologized.
Here’s the macro picture I got:
I like how the little raindrops act as magnifying glasses, and if you look very closely at the bottom of the largest raindrop at the front, you can see me with my digital camera in my face. That counts as a selfie, yes?