Cactus or Succulent – Prickly or Soft

posted in: Photography, Succulents | 0

I invite you to contemplate these two very different plants.

One soft, one prickly – scary prickly.

Our front patio is a constant source of wonder at the variety of cacti and succulents. When our daughter brings her dog over, I make sure he doesn’t get close to the prickly one. (I think it’s a hedgehog cactus – can anyone confirm that for me?)

A safe home

There are many birds that manage to create a home in cacti. Tricky to build, but safe from predators. One bird even gets its name from this strange habit – the Cactus Wren. It’s the state bird of Arizona, and it makes sense the cactus wren would choose the state with the most cacti. That was news to me – I always thought the state bird would be the roadrunner. Meep meep.

Soft beauty

Many of my photos capture the beauty of succulents. I am constantly amazed at the limitless variations of their growth. And… I feel safer taking photos of them, since I usually like to get very close.

As I contemplate these two very different, but related plants, I imagine the cactus saying, ” Stay away from me – admire my beauty from a distance.” But the succulent is inviting, possibly saying, “Come closer, see how the symmetry brings you into a peaceful state? And marvel at the subtle colors of my petals.”

Wise words from Proverbs

Here is another comparison of soft (gentle) and prickly (harsh):

Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

15:4 The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.

Learning from Nature

The natural world is one of the primary ways God “speaks” to me. Indigenous peoples have known this all along, and I appreciate them keeping the truth alive. As Paul said in Romans 1:20, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that humans are without excuse.”

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