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Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Winter's Day

Who's eating the Prickly Pear Cactus?  Ouch!
Yesterday was the winter solstice, and it was appropriately cold here in the northern Chihuahuan Desert.  It was warmer this morning--about 35 degrees Fahrenheit--but owing to the cloud cover and a persistent wind it felt quite chilly.  Nevertheless, there were a few other outdoor enthusiasts on and about the mountain, though we didn't run into any.  The bite of the Prickly Pear pad (at left) reminds me of the Collared Peccaries (Javelina) we've seen in the Chisos Mountains of Big Bend National Park, who include the cactus as part of their diet--spikes and all.  Yum.
Stoic dog pose

The Franklin Mountains near El Paso, Texas

In the rolling foothills of Tortugas (Tortoise) Mountain

3 comments:

Dr. K said...

Amazingly, there are a number of animals who can eat the prickly pear pads.

Scott said...

The goats we have acquired to help us control invasive non-native plants will eat the thorn-studded canes of multiflora rose, too, Packrat. Obviously, they're not as intimidating as the spines on the prickly pears, but I can't imagine how they're able to accommodate even the rose thorns.

packrat said...

I guess we're talking REALLY hard palate, Scott.

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