Friday, January 12, 2018

A Corking Weekly Link Round-Up

This is the time of year our snowbirds love here in the Phoenix metropolitan area. As much of the rest of the country has either frozen or been digging out from mudslides, everyone here has been basking in sunshine and temperatures in the 75°F (24°C) range. Someone on my Facebook page told me that that was almost pool weather, but the water in my unheated pool is currently 54°F/12°C, and that's just too cold for all my damaged joints. If I got in there now, Denis would find a Cathy-shaped iceberg in a matter of minutes!

As you can see by the photo to the left (taken at the Gilbert Riparian Preserve), there is such a thing as a purple cactus. It's the Santa Rita variety of the prickly pear. As I was looking at the holes in the saguaros to see if I could spy any birds looking out at me, two men walked by, pontificating on the purple prickly pear. (Nice alliteration, eh?) There are white cottony patches on the cacti, and the men said that it was too bad that the cacti were diseased and someone should take care of it. Now... I've seen lots of Santa Rita in my years here in the desert, both cultivated in places like the Desert Botanical Garden and here at the Gilbert Riparian Preserve as well as in the wild, out miles from civilization. I've seen plenty of Santa Rita with those white patches, and they very seldom seem to die from them, so... Google is my friend.

Come to find out that those white patches are natural, and when you see them it means that the cactus is "corking." A Santa Rita cactus can grow to be huge, and corking is one of the ways the plant has of fortifying itself both to deal with its size and to prepare for a growth spurt. Hhmmm...the next time someone mentions my snowy white hair, I think I'll tell them I'm corking. And on that note, it's out to the corral. Head 'em up! Mooooove 'em out!

►Books, Movies & Other Interesting Tidbits◄

►Channeling My Inner Indiana Jones◄

►Channeling My Inner Elly Mae Clampett◄
  • Adorable lemurs roam free on this ancient island.
  • How peacock spiders (I love 'em!) make rainbows on their backsides.
  • Watch rare footage of the elusive Javan Warty Pig in the wild.
  • Wisdom, the oldest known albatross, is expecting. (Again.)
  • Amazon bird is revealed to be an extremely rare hybrid species.
  • What would you do if you looked out to see this critter sleeping on your porch?
  • More than thirty hilarious dog snapchats that are impossible not to laugh at. 
  • After eight years, a family finally realizes why a squirrel has been tapping on their window every day.

►I ♥ Lists & Quizzes◄

That's all for this week! Don't forget to stop by next Friday when I'll be sharing a freshly selected batch of links for your surfing pleasure.

Have a great weekend, and read something fabulous!


  1. I love those cacti, Cathy! Whoever says the desert isn't exciting to look at has never really, well, looked. And, speaking of looking, I've got a stone structure in Mexico to check out...

  2. Actually that's a cochineal infestation - it's an insect that is used for dye, but you should get it off the cacti because it will weaken and could kill it, not cork it, LOL! It will come off if you hit the cactus pads with a hard water stream from a hose.

    1. Thanks for the expert info! Since I've seen these same cacti for years with that white stuff on them, someone must be getting out the hose from time to time. LOL

  3. Thanks for the links.

    I love Sara Paretsky even more after reading her essay. And V.I. Warshawski, too, my favorite detective.

    1. I was thinking of you when I posted that link, Kathy.


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