Tuna on a Bald Prickly Pear Cactus


This is a close shot on the fruit of the Bald (Spineless) Prickly Pear cactus. I haven’t ever eaten the fruit off this specimen. I have eaten tunas before. Meh. They are plain with big seeds. They have about as much flavor as my Turk’s Cap berries.

Also, I don’t find clear evidence that this specimen’s fruits are edible. Maybe it doesn’t matter if it has spines or not. Still not going to test that theory using my stomach.

Chile Piquin in Macro

In an olive background.
In an olive background.

If you live in central/west Texas, you may have encountered the Chile Piquin. This plant is native to the area, which means it spreads easily. Some have complained that it is aggressive. Eh, that’s what I like about it.

In context with unripened berries.
In context with unripened berries.

This plant is fantastic in our zone (Austin). If you don’t like it spreading, pluck the seedlings when you find them.

Some idea of proportion.
Some idea of proportion.

The berries (chili peppers as most would call them) are tiny. Like your pinky nail. Very small. I find them to be a huge pain to pick for that reason.

You can dry them in the oven for use later. Certainly they can be used in a preserve like jalapeño jelly. I haven’t tried that yet. Supposedly, the wildlife enjoys eating the berries. I haven’t caught a bird on those bushes to date.

(Another set taken with a rented Nikon Nikkor macro lens.)

Mr. Anole Changes his Outfit

I took these on my phone, so pardon the blur. This little guy was in no mood for my shenanigans today. He was looking for a mate–not the lizard paparazzi!

I wanted to show people who don’t have experience with these little guys what kind of fashion choices they have. Cuuuute.



I don’t understand his reasoning. Turning brown did not hide him amidst the green leaves. Hmm. Maybe he wasn’t hiding! These could be his *angry attack lizard* colors. (Note: I have never been attacked by an anole.)

Cinderella’s Stepsisters

Never as dewy and fresh as that wretch Cinderella, the sisters tried mightily to capture the attention of a prince or lord. They dressed in their best red finery and decorated themselves with a fan for the sake of modesty. For this was the last dance before they became too old to be considered a good catch!

All the girls at the dance chose to don red that evening in an effort to be stylish.  Another color would be unfashionable. Nonconforming to good taste and sensibilities! Too brash. A girl in an unpredictable color cannot attract the attention of a quality suitor.

Drizella and Anatasia gossip.
Drizella and Anatasia gossip.

Oh, but pity the stepsisters.


They may fit into society in a manner Cinderella can only dream about. Cinderella is pale, but she does not live in the shadows like her step-sisters. She may be weaker and smaller now, but her grace and value is evident. She will make a lovely bride!

(I bought the pink Turk’s cap on a whim a few years ago. Because I am full of whimsy. Whimsy, people. Anyhow, it’s totally a slow grower. Not particularly fruitful, either. I like to eat the berries. The pink varietal isn’t a good producer. But it is a different color, which counts for something in my dry shade garden.)

“Robbers of Peaches” Peach Jam


I stole some peaches. Then I stole some more today with my son. We are, in his view, robbers of peaches. He was happy to carry the ill gotten loot in a muslin bag back to our house.

Truth be told, I have never enjoyed a single Texas peach. They are small, sour rocks. But, they are very fragrant and make a nice preserve. I don’t have a particular recipe to wow you with. Just about any you find online will do.