These Prickly Pears are probably Engelmann’s Prickly Pear. Their flowers produce fruit — purple “pears.” At times, some of these edible fruits are still on the pad as the flowers open (not shown). I’ve harvested these fruits a couple of times. They are juicy with hard seeds that can’t be chewed. Perhaps I should call these small pips. The skin of the fruit is leathery and inedible. The wild fruits are only mildly sweet.
The fruits and the pads are a source of water for javalinas (peccaries) during the dry summer months despite the thorns and prickles. The fine prickles readily adhere to skin, then detach from the plant. These hairlike prickles pierce ordinary garden gloves. The fruit’s prickles are rendered harmless by rolling each fruit in sand.
A Prickly Pear full of buds is shown below. You can also see the proliferation of buds in the previous photos. Desert Bluebells are laid out along the river stones, below. A Bird of Paradise appears behind the Prickly Pear. Its new leaves are reddish-purple. Zoey is looking expectantly from the garage door. I have yet to identify the white flowering plant in front of the Prickly Pear:
A similar view with my 2004 Dodge Neon parked in the driveway:
For a short while during the silver rush of the 1880s, Tombstone, Arizona, had a significant Jewish community. Some died and were buried there in the local cemetery — Boot Hill. There was a tendency for men to die with their boots on, they say. Hence the name.
The cemetery is now a tourist attraction. “Come see the plots and new markers of those who were killed in the Fight at the OK Corral.”
Jews, Indians, and Chinese were buried in a separate lot just below the hill.
An historical society was able to mark some of the Gentile graves on the hill and map it out for tourists. They had located enough historical documents for the task.
Not so the Jews. A club in south-central Arizona, though, sponsored a single memorial marker dedicated to: The Jewish Pioneers and Their Indian Friends / Erected by the Jewish Friendship Club of Green Valley 1984.