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Friday, November 2, 2012

Cacti of Texas and Other Esoteric Thoughts

Glory of Texas Cactus.
The cactus is typically a resident of the desert or else of habitats where, for one reason or another, the water supply is practically nonexistent at least part of the time. The water problem is directly responsible for the soft interior makeup of the cactus and indirectly responsible for its defensive hard, waxy skin and fascinating array of spines. (Cacti of Texas and neighboring States - Del Weniger)
My original intent for this blog was to be strictly informational regarding the various cacti that call Texas home. Naw! As I typed the previous paragraph, my thoughts took off into another direction.
Namely, the fact that a lack of water supply influenced the formation of the cactus. My subconscious decided I needed to expound on that on a human level. How much is our personality influenced by our surroundings?

My upbringing took place in a less-than-affluent situation. I was the eldest of eight children whose father was the only wage-earner. He earned his living working as a carpenter building submarines. I have sharp memories of the earlier years when we were refused groceries at more than one store because we could not pay our bill.

How this influenced me was to make earning a wage the goal of my life despite me desire to satisfy my curiosity about the world I lived in. Married at what is now considered a young age, family started shortly afterward—the thought or possibility of furthering my education beyond high school never entered my mind.   

Co-incidentally, it was my marriage and subsequent move to my husband’s home state, Texas that fueled my desire to continue to learn. Nothing like being transported to an alien culture to expand the mind. As a result, I have never hesitated to inform myself about something I was interested in which has led to many adventures in my lifetime.

What about you? Can you look back at your life and see how you were affected your actions and reactions?

By the way—the cactus photo above is called Glory of Texas (Echinocactus bicolor var. schottii.) Primarily a Mexican species, it occurs in two widely separated areas in Texas -- Starr and Brewster Counties. With a brilliant fuchsia flower whose petals shine with satiny smoothness and surround a scarlet throat, the Glory of Texas is the brightest, most exotic flowers of any cactus growing in our State.

And that's your botany lesson for today, folks.

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