This morning was another "pull over quickly and take that photo" day!
While driving, I came across a huge cactus standing proudly in all its glory. This mature majestic plant was flowering and had the largest soft yellow blooms I'd ever seen on a cactus. Without hesitation, I threw the car in reverse, backed up to be parallel with the cactus, put the hazard lights on (sometimes the left side of my brain engages), and jumped out of the car.
With cell phone in hand, I was looking up at the cactus in seconds. The cactus was even more amazing standing next to it. It was hard not to question the age of this plant. Who had passed by it for how many years? Had Native Americans ridden their horses by this cactus in years passed or was it just a place to find shade for the occasional road runner or rattlesnake? My cell phone camera was clicking away. The cactus had to be 10 to 12 feet high. The morning light was illuminating the blossoms with strong shadows being cast in the folds of the plant. The scene was mesmerizing. Then reality snapped me out of my trance and I thought, "Wow...I wonder if the home owners are watching me?" At that very second, about 6 feet away from me, the car door opened from the car parked in the circular driveway. A man exited. I jumped. The beauty of the cactus was so fixating, the fact a person was sitting there watching me had completely gone unnoticed.
Quickly explaining my art and quest to take photos for a blog, the home owner started laughing. He didn't mind me being in his yard. We had a wonderful conversation. He confirmed the cactus was quite old and had been cut back a number of times. He also told me the fruit was edible and offered me some. Politely declining, he was thanked for his kindness and we both had a great laugh. Walking the short distance to my car, I had to wonder...what was more beautiful - the cactus or the enjoyable conversation and laughter with a complete stranger. Let's call it a draw.