Prickly Pear “In-sight”

We’re used to seeing them like this, out in the desert wilderness of Arizona and other southwestern locales, or possibly even in other parts of the world….

Prickly Pear Cactus

Or we take a closer look and see the spines in their protective glory and the plump fruit that is awaiting harvest by desert creatures…and humans, too.

Prickly Pear cactus closer

But we don’t often get a view of what is inside those cactus “leaves” to witness what must be the vascular highway that provides the overall structure while transporting water and nutrients from one part of the plant to another as the seasons demand….

Prickly Pear cactus inside 1


Prickly Pear cactus inside 2


Prickly Pear cactus inside 3


Prickly Pear cactus inside 4


Prickly Pear cactus inside 5


Prickly Pear cactus inside 6


Prickly Pear cactus inside 7


Prickly Pear cactus inside 8

I think there is a particular “something” about the structure of the cactus’s leaves…a sort of compelling and abstract beauty….

Prickly Pear cactus inside 9


24 responses

  1. I agree Scott.When I saw desert cactus “skeletons” in Arizona earlier this year, I was fascinated by the structure. Great photos!

    August 23, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    • There are quite a few of them out here, Lynn…and yes, they are quite fascinating. Thank you.

      August 29, 2015 at 4:26 pm

  2. The detail in your images is so fascinating and so engaging.

    August 23, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    • Thank you, Charlie. 🙂

      August 29, 2015 at 4:26 pm

  3. Awesome photos. While organic, the structure came across as something alien. Interesting and informative.

    August 23, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    • Thank you, Emilio…and I agree, there is something rather alien-looking about them.

      August 29, 2015 at 4:27 pm

  4. I tried to find prickly pear jam while I was there and never did. Have you ever had it? Is it good? I’ve seen lots of cholla cactus skeletons, they sure are neat!

    August 24, 2015 at 4:35 am

    • I’ve not had any of it, Laura, but I know it’s sold out here. I should probably do that at some point, given that I’ve lived here for over 20 years now!

      August 29, 2015 at 4:28 pm

      • If you do try some, let me know how it is please.

        August 30, 2015 at 3:03 am

        • I can do that. 🙂

          August 30, 2015 at 7:54 am

  5. This is amazing, I haven’t seen them before. Fascinated me. Thank you, love, nia

    August 24, 2015 at 5:00 am

    • Thank you, Nia. 🙂

      August 29, 2015 at 4:28 pm

  6. Kim

    Nature’s art! Thank you for sharing your insightful images.

    August 24, 2015 at 9:41 am

    • I’m glad you enjoyed them, Kim…you’re welcome. 🙂

      August 29, 2015 at 4:28 pm

  7. Great photo! And I love prickly pears, especially in summer time… in Sicily – on holiday – I always eat them at pleasure!

    August 24, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    • Thank you, Claudine…I thought they might be found in the more arid areas of your part of the world. And I’ve eaten some of them, too…they’re referred to as “nopalitos” out here, when they’re prepared for a meal….

      August 29, 2015 at 4:31 pm

  8. I have a table full of objects from nature that please me and someday I’ll have one of these on it.

    August 24, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    • Let me know if I can be of assistance, Allen….

      August 29, 2015 at 4:32 pm

  9. Wow! Fascinating and beautiful!

    August 24, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    • Thank you, Lemony. 🙂

      August 29, 2015 at 4:32 pm

  10. I love the prickly pear… we have a lot of them here. But those structures you found, and the way you photographed them are fantastic. Beautiful post, Scott.

    August 27, 2015 at 4:04 am

    • Thank you very much, Shimon…I thought you might have some of them nearby.

      August 29, 2015 at 4:33 pm

  11. Lovely to see these pretty purply pimply prickly pears. How fascinating to see the inner structure.

    August 28, 2015 at 1:41 am

    • I’m glad you enjoyed them, Meanderer. 🙂

      August 29, 2015 at 4:33 pm

Thank you for would be great to hear from you....

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.