Arizona Mourns Its Prickly Pears

It’s been a month since the Big Freeze and many grand old prickly pears have languished into dreary heaps of decay. They ooze a sickly yellow fluid, and like all death, they smell awful. The pads droop and then fall to the ground under their own weight.

Some folks say if the core, or trunk, is still standing, they have a chance of revival, but it won’t be an easy recovery. It will be many years before they recapture their former glory, if at all. Not all perished, though, and the prickly pear will rise again, in time.

These prickly pears were a stately wall

Prickly pears month after freeze

Prickly pears month after freeze. We doubt these will be returning.

Prickly pears month after freeze. Note the yellowish fluid seeping from the pads.

Pile of dead prickly pear pads month after freeze

Prickly pears month after freeze. These won't be coming back.

Prickly pears month after freeze


8 responses to “Arizona Mourns Its Prickly Pears

  1. I see it. I am saddened. I sense your loss and that of the residents of Arizona. I root for the prickly pear come back.

    It’s sad when life is snuffed unexpectedly and prematurely. I guess all one can do for now is mourn the loss, console and when that distant day comes celebrate and embrace the rebirth.

    Great pictures -strangely am reminded of what a elephant graveyard might look like. Hauntingly beautiful, if that’s possible. Thanks.

  2. I root for them too. And will be rooting replacement pads.

    You remind me that ruins have their own magic. I though of elephants too.

  3. Let’s hope for the best. Plants have a strong, strong will to survive. That they are still standing is a good sign. One never knows what miracles nature will provide.

    I’m wishing you good luck.

  4. Wow, that is very sad. Made more so by your addition of the pictures. They looked like victims of a massacre to me. But hopefully they will rise again, as surely they have done since the dawn of time.

  5. I suspect this might happen many times in history but it is still a sad sight to see. I’m sure there will soon be new growth from old.

  6. Pipes exploded, cactus froze to death… I’ve been on holiday in Phoenix, Tucson, Grand Canyon in 1999.What I remember are huge black spiders running in the parking lot for the shadow of our tourist bus, not icicles from its roof.

    Anyway, prickly pears are good frozen, too 😉

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