I wish to violate the dominant theme of LJness in general, and state categorically that I love my life. Even if I never make more than is required to keep body and soul together, even if I die in penniless obscurity, even if my muse is still poking at batik swatches and muttering in the far depths of my diseased brain a hundred years from now, the fact that I can go to botanical gardens with a camera and wander around taking photos of mutant cactus in hopes of inspiration striking, and then call it a work day--this makes me think that I did not do too badly with the life that got handed me. My job counselor back in high school would despair, but I imagine the life of a high-school job counselor is one of neverending despair, so I feel no guilt.
So the garden was cool. I knew, of course, on some level, that there was undoubtedly a good variety of cactus out there--there's saguaro and barrel and prickly pear and those homicidal cholla things, and if I really dredged my memory, I could probably remember the organ pipe and octillo, but my paltry memories of cactusdom fell terribly short of the reality. Cactus are pure insanity. I will post photos later. There were these warped monsterous cacti, and gnarled totempole cacti, and something called wortleberry cacti and one that I've completely forgotten but which started with a "w" and looked like some kind of succulent green vision of hell. There were also succulents, come to that. They were succulenty. And I stalked and photographed a preening cactus wren, but since I was taking photos of plants, which generally hold still and let you get pretty close before they break and run, I didn't have the telephoto on, so I probably just have a vague, distant, wren-shaped blur.
Also I saw these things called "verdin." They're birds. They are actually smaller than hummingbirds, and quite adorable. Plus the usual line-up of curved-beak thrashers and Inca doves, and western whiptailed lizards, which I am growing terribly fond of. They're so cute! And you can watch their tiny little minds work--gotta run gotta run gotta stop gotta scratch uh oh big tall thing gotta run away gotta run did it spot me its got a whirclickthing its pointing at me gotta run run run gotta freeze look a bush gotta hide... Love 'em.
And now, to look at photos...