(Which isn’t at all true. It’s a pretty darned humid heat in Jamaica, I just couldn’t resist stealing Bill Paxton’s line.)
The part of Jamaica I go to is considered the desert of Jamaica. This surprised me since I would never have thought of a desert being so green and wet, but various things about the position of the island and the mountains and this strip of coast all combine to mean that the area gets much less rain and is considerably drier than the rest of the island.
One result of all this dry is that there are cactus all over the place. My first trip, I was surprised by all the desert flora, but no longer. This trip I decided to do a little photo study of said flora. Here’s a selection:
These pretty things look so deceptively soft at first glance. One cool thing I learned about them is that humming birds build their nests in between the branches, cleverly keeping predators at bay!
The spike tips fascinate me. They are no joke.
I kept waiting for these to bloom in some dramatic fashion. Aren’t they supposed to do that? The two Christmas cactus at work all bloom spectacularly, and these looked as though they’d be fabulous. Sadly, no showy blossoms.
These cactus didn’t disappoint, however.
Here is a cactus fruit! When I first saw this, there was a lovely, tiny bird having one of the fruits for breakfast. Flew off before I could get my camera out, however. I biked back to this spot a few times, but didn’t see him again.
And of course, even the fruit is a little spiky.
And speaking of spikes, aren’t these gorgeous?
Then there’s this curious, almost cabbage-like beauty. I didn’t even know it was a cactus until I walked past it on my way to the roof deck … and it grabbed hold of my skirt! Upon closer inspection, I discovered its hidden claws:
I discovered something else, too:
I think I need to spend a couple of months here just taking pictures of plants (and lizards, of course … I still haven’t gotten a shot of the iridescent green ones with the metallic blue tails!). Mildred would have had a blast in Jamaica. So many plants for her to learn about and cook! She would have made an amazing Wild Foods Banquet here, no doubt.