Thursday, March 30, 2006


This looks like someone's hair, doesn't it? Well, not really but it does have a mysterious quality to you see a face in this photo? One could imagine just about anything, couldn't one?

The rain yesterday here in L.A. during "Storm Watch", created some very interesting a strange way this almost looks like little icicles on this head of hair, doesn't it?

The reason I mention "Storm Watch" is because that is what the local news says every time we have some rain. You would think each time they do this that we are in for horrendous horrible rains...but, that is not usually the case. In fact most of the time "Storm Watch comes into being after the, we've had a huge not-predicted storm and then they start with "Storm Watch". In a way, it's really hilarious!

(Can't wait to see what the construction up the street looks like....if it has stopped raining by the time I get ready to actually post this, I'll take a walk up there and check it out...I know there will be rock slides on these streets, cause there always are--that's just a given...but weather there will be visible rain damage up at that construction site remains to be seen...)

This plant above and just down below is a plant called...well, Lordy, I don't remember what it is called! Sorry about that. Well, to continue, this particular one of mine is still quite small, only about 8 feet high, and unfortunately, it is struggling...I love the shape of this plant...I call it the Cigar Cactus, cause it looks like a big fat greenish yellowish cigar to me....I have about 3 or 4 in my garden...this one was down below, but we moved it up to the front because it was struggling so badly and I thought it might do better in a more protected environment.
It is still continuing to struggle but the root system is very healthy and I'm hoping it will pull itself together as time goes on...I mean it still looks pretty bad, but it's a very good sign that the roots are healthy. I had my gardener, Seven, check the roots this past Saturday ..a truly healthy one of these should really look somewhat greener than this and also fuller...some of my other ones look great...but, not this one, poor dear...In the wild, these plants can be 30 or 40 feet high, and some even higher. And with arms, too...this is really too young to have any arms's only about 35 or 40 years old and these plants grow very very slowly...maybe 2 or 3 inches a year, if things are going well...And you can see from this picture that the color is too yellow and that is not what it should be...I'm trying to stay positive about this wonderful plant so I approach everything we do with it, with hope. And I encourage it and tell it how wonderful it is!

And you remember "George"? That's the plant that has the Buttons, then they became like Nipples, and now...well, I don't know what to call what they look like now though they are getting closer and closer to turning into the flowers that they will become...George's proper name is Pachycereus Pringlei and could grow to be 50 or 60 feet high, and with many arms branching my 'George' was grown from seed (not by me) and has gone through quite a lot of trauma. He used to be quite a bit taller than he is now, but something happened down at the bottom of him close to the ground--a disease attacked him but luckily we noticed this and we were able to save the major portion of him. He had originally been in the ground and very well established and then when this terrible disease happened we had to uproot him and literally amputate the bad portion of him and then let the cut part dry before planting him in a pot so he could safely root...about two years later when we were sure he was well established again we planted him where he is now and (knock wood) he has been doing beautifully ever since. This particular photo was taken before the buttons began to show themselves...(I'll try to get a better picture of George so you can see all of him...He is about 7 feet high now.)

To get the idea of how huge these Pachycereus Pringlei plants can grow in the wild, take a look at this. As you can see in this particular picture there is a person standing next to the plant, and this will give you a small idea of how truly huge these plants can get. Amazing, isn't it?

George has a long way to go doesn't he? And, I certainly won't see it in my lifetime, that's for sure...I mean it takes at least two or three century's for one of these plants to get this big...and George is probably only 25 or 30 years old...But, the compensation of his size for me is the pleasure of actually getting close to the buttons which become flowers and then fruit. I mean that's pretty spectacular to me. And by the way, the fruit is edible...and in reading about the flesh of this plant it is supposed to have wonderful healing properties and also some kind of pain killer ability, as well...It certainly would be better than perscriptions. IF you knew exaclty how to extract it you could then administer it to someone, like yourself. (So much of our medicines come from the plant world to begin with...). I think it would be great to have your own personal pharmacy growing in your very own garden, don't you?

I love this has so much going on in it and it has this kind of abstract quality to it. It's not that I think it's a perfect picture or anything like that. It just pleases me on some level I can't really explain...Maybe it is the fact that there
is so very much going on it, you know? The many different shapes and the slight sense of the rain....And the many colors, too, as well as the fact that the focus is really not sharp at all.... Anyway, I just thought I'd share this one picture because 'George' is there along with a number of other wonderful plants, and just because I like it so much. This was taken while it was raining and though you cannot see the rain exactly, you can see the slickness and some droplets on that Senecio there in the right foreground of the picture and on those lovely light green Senecio leaves behind it.

So, as a reminder of how these Buttons/Nipples/Nub Flowers on George have grown since I started posting the photo's of them...(well, not from the very beginning actually)... here is a small reminder photograph of these 'George' Buttons, early can see how tiny they were even in this photo and unfortunately I didn't start to take pictures of them at the very very beginning of their appearance...I sure wish I had, but when these little things first appear you may or may not notice them right away...they just seem to come out of nowhere, you know? Like, they aren't there and then suddenly they are there, like overnight. It isn't really overnight, I know, but often, it feels like that to me.

And now, here's the most recent photo of the 'George' flowers. I actually took this today and it's about as close as I've been able to get and have them stay 'in focus'. I'm leaving the photograph on it's side because you can really see the flower nubs better this way...I know you are all probably going to get bored with these flowers before we are done here, but I hope not...See, they never bore me for a minute because I am so in awe of what nature all that fuzz that is around this nub before it actually becomes the flower it surely WILL become. And while it is growing this fuzz is a very important componant because it is there as a sort of protective no birds or other creatures will be interested in it, yet....Right now these are the flower nubs to watch, believe me! There will be lots of other amazing things as the spring and summer and fall come along, but right now and probably till the end of June, these will be doing their amazing amazing thing, and I will be showing you because I love love love these sweet surprising fantastic growing beauties, more than I can say...

More will be revealed....

Links to this post:


had this to say:

wow - you grow them big over there!! Passing through to my audition! Nice blog :)

Thursday, March 30, 2006 at 3:34:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I don't get bored with the nubbins on George, Naomi, I think they are cute. I will be interested to see them as they flower and then fruit. I can't believe how big some of the cacti get; that one with the person beside it is amazing. Who knew they lived that long?!

Thursday, March 30, 2006 at 5:49:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

So pretty. I love your plants. :)

Storm watch in California cracks me up. Like we're aspiring toward Tornado watches in Oklahoma or something. *snort*

Thursday, March 30, 2006 at 7:50:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

i love rainy days in LA...
Your images are great as usual

Thursday, March 30, 2006 at 10:15:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Fantastic stuff.
Soon, I will start hacking through the compost and pushing around the dirt in my vegetable garden, getting ready for my next crop of habanera chilies, tomatoes, and cucumbers. I am totally garden-focused for several months of the year, thinking during the drive home on the Garden State Parkway (Ha ha!) how wonderful it will be to go out back, water the garden, and see who's grown. I'm also out of my homemade hot sauce--I'm getting antsy. I need chilies!
Great photos and an nice tour.

Thursday, March 30, 2006 at 1:56:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Love your plants, Naomi. Cigar Cactus is beautiful! How huge is this one named Pachycereus Pringlei. Love also 'George' flowers.
Have a nice weekend surround by your amazing cactus species!

Thursday, March 30, 2006 at 1:58:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I really admire your ability to take detailed shots of many interesting things especially plants which I love very much.

Do you have an album for all of them? It would be nice to have some of them framed and displayed in your house or office. Or maybe you can give them as gifts.

Thursday, March 30, 2006 at 3:24:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Lovely post Naomi! I don't get tired of hearing about your plants and seeing their progress! That one you call the Cigar Cactus reminds me of a big hairy ear of corn!

Thursday, March 30, 2006 at 3:37:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Storm watch sounds like putting the horse after the cart lol.
We have lots of rain here in autumn and winter, too much in fact :)

Thursday, March 30, 2006 at 3:54:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

You've got some really nice nubs, Naomi.

That sounds kind of dirty doesn't it?

I'm amazed by nature too. Beauty is all around us. We just have to take a closer look.

Thursday, March 30, 2006 at 4:20:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

My favorite thing about the weather reports on TV in CA is when there is actual thunder and lightening. You would think they had never HEARD of thunder and lightening, they way they go on and on about it. Cracks me up every time. Plus when it gets cold enough to snow at 3000 ft. YOu would think that this was a calamity of mythic proportions.

Hey, 70 degrees tomorrow in Boston. Sunny, too. Just like it's supposed to be in LA!

Here via you know who.

Thursday, March 30, 2006 at 9:00:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Wow! I can't believe how big your cacti are! I thought you meant 8 inches instead of 8 feet... but no. Wow!

The first picture reminded me of animal wiskers. At first I thought it was a seal. You should've seen me lookin' for its eyes ;)

Here from Michele's. Can't believe how long it's been since I've been here. Haven't been playin' much lately. So when I saw your name after mine... I wanted to rush over and say hello!

(And... I'm here from Michele's ;)

Thursday, March 30, 2006 at 9:16:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I love to see your cacti! We used to have one in the hall that was almost six feet tall, but a guest's little boy SAT on it and it was never the same after being cracked in half. We picked the prickles out of the little boy for hours. I'm here from Michele's right now, but I come here all the time.

Thursday, March 30, 2006 at 11:25:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

as Indy and i were wandering the other day i saw cacti on my neighbors porch in an olden wooden tub, i thought of you and snapped a pick, the picture is about halfway down the blog now, with a blurb about how much i love your blog. I can not pass a cactus now without thinking of your beautiful garden.

Thursday, March 30, 2006 at 11:35:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Storm Watch! The Blizzard of '94! I have been developing a blog post in my head about our culture of fear. Bird Flu! Yikes.

I love that abstract looking photo, and that first one not only looks like hair, it looks like Beaker from the Muppets. ;)

Here via michele, but I don't need to be. :D

Friday, March 31, 2006 at 3:28:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

The other one looks like lots and lots of fingers put together.

Friday, March 31, 2006 at 4:09:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I am amazed every time I read one of your posts about cacti (spelling?). They really are incredible plants. As for the storm watch, here in Georgia, every year it seems they predict a minor dusting of snow. It never happens, but there is always a run at the supermarket and you can't get bread or milk after that. I swear I think its just a marketing gimic. MIchele sent me.

Friday, March 31, 2006 at 12:29:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

i came by here last night, and since i have already commented on this post, i will comment on the one below, because, well michele told me to come say hi!

Friday, March 31, 2006 at 12:33:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Wonderful photos! Great blog.
Michele sent me.

Friday, March 31, 2006 at 12:38:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Hey there. I'm here from Michele's. Loving the cacti but I must tell you, being from the upper midwest my only experience with cactus was grabbing one once. You only do that once! ;o) Funny thing about those storm watches. I guess it happens like that everywhere.

Friday, March 31, 2006 at 12:38:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I promise - as soon as the rain stops for more than ten minutes, I am going for a blogwalk in Merrie Olde Englande.....



Friday, March 31, 2006 at 1:50:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

The first thing that crossed my mind when I saw the opening photo was - Naomi has been photographing Hedgehogs? :)

Thanks for sharing more pictures of your beautiful gardens.

Friday, March 31, 2006 at 2:27:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Michele sent me this time :)
Still no arrangments in place that I know of so we can't make plans yet for August :)

Friday, March 31, 2006 at 5:07:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

hello from your friend in the Mountains, we got asprinkle of snow today, thats all

Friday, March 31, 2006 at 5:12:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I love when you post the pictures of the cacti (is that a word??) lol Michele sent me, but you know I am here often! :)

Friday, March 31, 2006 at 5:17:00 PM PST 

Blogger srp
had this to say:

I love the picture of the rain drops on the fuzzy hair of the cactus. I just spent the day digging in flower beds here. In Oklahoma we had red clay and here they have gooey black clay. You essentially have to replace it with topsoil for anythng to grow. Mom ordered 4 O'clocks and we had to plant them. I am so tired and sore. They better grow!!!!!! Maybe the cactus would like it... no, not likely.

Friday, March 31, 2006 at 5:25:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Nature is amazing... thanks for sharing some of its wonders.

Here from Michele's.


Friday, March 31, 2006 at 8:04:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Very cool pictures. Lol i thought the second one down was a cob of corn. Can you tell I don't have a green thumb?

Here from Michele's tonight.

Friday, March 31, 2006 at 8:19:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

There's something so captivating about water on flora. You know it won't last long, that it'll evaporate in mere minutes. So capturing that moment with a camera becomes all the more meaningful because it is so ephemeral.

I hope you have one huge hard drive to store all those pictures - the ones you've taken, and the ones you've yet to take and share. It's a joy to peek over your shoulder.

Friday, March 31, 2006 at 8:32:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I love the 'hair' on the 2nd picture. It looks like it's just on the sides & reminds me of a cartoon character.
Oh, do I know what you mean about Storm Watch. Every station has their own name for it, just like the weather systems they use, like Doppler 2000 or Storm Watch 2006! Tarzan & I laugh about them too cuz they're so dramatic. I mean, for goodness sakes, it's RAIN people! Not a meteor! Gotta love California :)

Friday, March 31, 2006 at 9:13:00 PM PST 

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Name: OldOldLady Of The Hills
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