When is a cactus not a cactus?

When is a cactus not a cactus?

Greetings from New Mexico.
Went walking with my brother up in the hills 
around the pueblo ruins again today.
Beautiful sunshine, deafening silence,
only crickets chirping and not a soul to be seen – 
except for the dude who decided to do the strimming – or weed whacking as they say round these parts.
Easter Sunday of all days.
So Steve and I headed up the trail, away from the racket.
And it occurred to me that I would like to show you one of the many cacti which grow round here.
This is called a cholla. It’s very common here. 
A savage thing if it catches you. It has tiny barbs all along its needles and can really hurt if you try to pull the needle out.
So best to keep your distance.

Actually, they also bloom. 
Some of the yellow flowers were just starting to blossom.
Local artists use the dried out dead cholla for artwork, and you often see it around in gift shops and galleries.
I have a huge piece in the house, which I have been sanding and cleaning for years. I want to make a lampshade with it.
Don’t ask! I have an exact vision! It will be wonderful!

Here is a little saint I picked up in Santa Fe the other day,
made out of cholla.

Isn’t he delightful?
He even has a tiny turpuoise heart, to ward off evil spirits. 

I think he has a very MAKE ART NOT WAR feel about him, 
don’t you?
Love & Hugs,

28 thoughts on “When is a cactus not a cactus?

  1. Hi Barb,
    Your little saint is beautiful. I can imagine how much one of those barbs on the cholla hurts – I have a little cactus here and that is bad enough!! We all know never cross a Barb don't we?! Enjoy the rest of your time away and come back really relaxed. Love and hugs Alison xxx

  2. There is always that one fella around to spoil the peace an quiet isn't there? Nature is a wonder isn't it – how it makes things that look beautiful but actually quite nasty. Had to laugh Ali – never cross a Barb!!!! Hilarious. Xxx

  3. Morning. Flowers on cactus are very pretty it's amazing how wonderfully made flowers are and made to go with climate. Least you didn't meet any snakes today and enjoyed your walk. Have a great day I'm of to play katie out today Bob sleeping as on nights tonight so some me time xxx

  4. Well, I can't quite see a lampshade ….. a work in progress ! Glad you are enjoying your holiday. We're ready to start ours on Weds in Fuerta Ventura. I hope Dave and the gang are all well here at home. Xx

  5. Hello Barb, a lampshade? Looking forward to seeing that when it is finished. Your little saint is beautiful, very creative people that make them. Take care and enjoy the sunshine. Bx

  6. Lovely little piece of art and very apt for our theme. Really glad you are enjoying your time away from the 'coalface' so to speak. It can only be a good thing to recharge the batteries.

    We are just having an ordinary day today (Easter Monday) and doing some cooking to take us over the next couple of days. Having said that, we do enjoy cooking so it's not a hardship.

    Will enjoy seeing what comes out of those branches. Xxxxx

  7. Seeing those bits of dead cactus I'm not sure how it will end up as a lampshade but will await the results with interest Barbara, and that little saint made with the Cholla is great and love that little turquoise heart as it is one of my favourite gem stones and I love to wear the colour too. Glad you are having a great time and reaping the benefits of the peace and quiet. x

  8. Can't see how the lampshade will form from that dead cactus, but I'm sure I'll be amazed when it's created! Enjoy your peace and quiet and recharge those batteries, x

  9. Hi Barbara, what a beautiful plant, living and dead, maybe even more so dead, if that's allowed to say. I didn't realise you were in the desert because the last time you blogged from there, there was lots of snow. Didn't know it could snow in deserts. Amazing how the cacti survive.

    I hope you show us the end result when you get your lampshade finished, I think it will look amazing. Me, my Asperger's, I would be drawn to just sit and watch it, calming for me. I'll just make do with a string of LED lights that I'm looking for, for my bedroom!!!!

    Love the saint, I can tell why he jumped out at you. And yes, it epitomises perfectly 'make art not war'. And it's got me thinking about what my art will be, totally different path to my original plan now. Or it will be when I work out what's at the end of this new path, that might help eh!!!! I still have my 'art from nowt much' in my craft room, the first challenge you set us from New Mexico.

    Hope you and Steve have another lovely day, just going with the flow
    Love Brenda xx

    1. Barbara, it's your wellies you should have taken with you for snake protection!!!! See, never go anywhere without your wellies!!! Dot, can you think of a new verse for the welly song we could sing round the campfire to Barbara?

  10. Hi Barbara
    Well your holiday certainly isn't dull is it! Oh you are having fun. I do like your little saint, he will be lovely in your craft room on the window sill just keeping an eye on you all. I can see your vision, the lampshade will look gorgeous when you get round to it. Enjoy the rest of your day.
    Love Diane xxx

  11. What a lovely little art creation the little saint is! Nice to see something lovely made out of something which can be not-so-lovely! Cholla (for those who aren't familiar with cactus, that is pronounced CHO-ya) is really nasty if you touch it. My neighbor has one huge one that tends to grow over the wall and drop dead branches into my back yard, and seeds which turn into baby chollas..not good for the tender feet of my puppies and grandkids!

    But they are beautiful when blooming in the spring. And while most have yellow blooms, some are bright pink, but you have to look hard to find those.

    The desert in this part of the state is called high desert — over a mile above sea level — and although we don't get a lot of precipitation, it does snow quite a bit in winter, especially around Santa Fe and points north. Great ski slopes near Santa Fe.

  12. Morning/Evening/night night no idea of the time there but love the wee saint
    I would bring him home Barbara he would look great on your craft room window with your lepo etc remembrance art.
    Take care and enjoy…Love Dot..xx

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