The Real Time Canine II

After spending 2 years writing the Real Time Canine, the adventure continues with The Real Time Canine II. Read along as I look for just the right puppy to continue the experience. After false starts with Tim and Jed, I am currently training young Tam, and Spot, which are both off to a strong start. Please visit the RTC II to read about training sessions as they occur.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Sorry, I just couldn't resist the cactus flowers. It's a sheepdog blog, I know, but sometimes I just get distracted. There was a guy coming out to take lessons last winter who is a bit of a green thumb and when he noticed that I have a lot of mature cactus around my place he suggested that if I fed them they would bloom. He didn't, however, warn me how prolifically. I did as he suggested though, and this morning went out and found these. Sometimes it's just unbelievable the gifts you get when you least expect them in the last place you'd expect to find them. These flowers made me happy. I have no idea what kind of cactus this is, but here's a definition that comes pretty close: Turk's-head cactus a cactus, Melocactus communis, of Jamaica, having needlelike spines and a cylindrical body with a tawny-red, fezlike terminal part bearing red flowers. I don't know about the "fezlike" part, but everything else is spot on. Red being the operative description here.
Really just the brightest red that I could ever have asked for this morning when I went out to feed. I don't know if it's true for everyone, but my cactus flowers kind of sneak up on me. I don't know when they're going to come or go. Cactus are the 3-toed sloths of the botanical world. You don't, at least I don't, notice any change in them at all from day to day. They don't even sway in the breeze. They don't have leaves that change color or fall off or bud and grow, they don't change color at all from one season to the next and they are, of course, impervious to hot and dry. Unlike your hydrangeas, and your lawn, you will never see a cactus wilt. You can hack off a piece of cactus, throw it down anywhere, wait a bit and it will grow! And then one day you go out and Wham.....big bright flowers. It's as if my cactus are saying "Gladiola this MF'er!"
Then, all too soon, it's over and the cactus simply retreat to loiter once again, conserving water, keeping their distance and good-naturedly waiting for an opportunity to assault the credulous with another flamboyant demonstration of their latent, botanical eminence.

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