I may be the only person in the state who still adores the old wild multiflora roses that blanket many farms, but when it comes to wild cactus, I'm right there with the rest of them--despising it. Prickly cactus is just about the last thing you want growing in your fields, and the stuff just refuses to die.
I will admit that the flowers are lovely, although the first (and last) time I said this out loud, Joe (a diehard cactus hater) almost choked to death. (Good thing we weren't eating.) And after being down on my hands and knees in the middle of the hayfield (and in the middle of the very exhausting job of loading up a field full of haybales onto the trailer) on a 90-something degree day last year, carefully pulling up pieces of cactus, hands bleeding (yes, I was wearing gloves), sweat pouring down my face, a feedsack of cactus on the bed of the truck, and enough to fill about 25 more feedsacks still on the ground. . . Well, I now understand the choking episode.
You see, even if you rip the cactus from the ground. Even if you toss it somewhere like the middle of the gravel driveway. Even if you leave it on the back of the truck laying on just the tiniest bit of dirt--the stuff will come back to life. It can grow anywhere. . .
Even from out of a year old bale of hay.
The first of this year's hay is cut and teddered. Today it will be raked and baled, and then we will drive around and pick up the bales. Since we never got around to The Winter Cactus Pick Up Project in the hayfield last year, I have a feeling we wil be seeing those nasty spiked leaves everywhere. Let's hope not. At least the flowers are pretty. Just please don't tell Joe I still think so.