Tag: prickly pear

Prickly Love and Some Thoughts


First, I really enjoy the prickly pear cacti in my neighborhood – that is, as long as I don’t fall into a patch.  Their paddle-shaped stems (the thorns are the leaves) often show up heart-shaped, and in season bear beautiful flowers which become the pear.  After all our rains, I can hardly wait to see what the trails nearby have to offer.

Thoughts:  Fraggie suggested a weekly post on the monthly subject.  I will give it a shot for every Monday.  That I think I can do without feeling depressed about my project and without feeling pressure from lack of time.  My workday yesterday was out of the house at 8:00 a.m. and home at 7:30 p.m.  I think you can see why time is not always available!


Prickly Pear

Prickly Pear

Prickly pear are everywhere in my area of California, dotting hillsides and roadsides.  They are really quite beautiful – from a distance – but also a wonderful food source.  The pears are sweet when ripe, with a deep red fruit.  The paddles are also edible, but a bit bland, and are used in making nopales.  To eat a prickly pear requires a prickly pear, a pair of gloves to pick what you want, and a fire or blow torch to remove the thorns, which are long and pointy.  I don’t go out harvesting, but I always enjoy photographing these cacti.  Oh, and before the pears show up, the flowers are really beautiful.

In a Sea of Thorns

In a Sea of Thorns

The prickly pear cactus is a beautiful plant.  Paddles of green rise up from one another, and the flower buds appear on top.  The buds are the “pears” and are very tasty!  The paddles of the plant (which are really trunks and branches, with the thorns for leaves) are also quite edible.  The paddles are cut off, quite carefully, and held over an open flame to remove the thorns.  Once done, slice and stir-fry.  Very good in scrambled eggs.

Personally, I like looking at them more than harvesting them!

Prickly Pear a la Lomo

Prickly Pear I

I am not sure if the lab is to blame or the camera, but this image was filthy when I got the scans back from the lab. Either way, for what I am doing, it is unimportant. I am just playing. At some point, I will check to see if the debris is stuck in the film. I cleaned up the worse of it in post, and then did some color correction.

This is an interesting process, looking at the images out of the Lomo LC-A. To my eye, it says poor equipment and bad images. On the other hand, I can see why it could be just fun. My persnickety side is at war with my “let’s do it and see what happens” side.

Aesthetically, I do not think grungy, dirty pictures (with debris all over them) are interesting if it was not done intentionally.

To counter the Lomo, I have a 6×6 Isoletta III rangefinder due to arrive today. Let’s see what that produces.