Roadside Blooms

by Verónica

There are long stretches of road in Texas.

You see the occasional armadillo (dead or alive) by the highway. Even tumbleweed has been known to roll across as if being swept aside by the dusty wind. And in the driest parts of the state, you can find an abundance of the prickly pear cactus, our state plant.

The plant is a source of food. It produces a red fruit – the tuna – about the size of a fig. The green pads of the plant are stripped of their thorns, cleaned, peeled and cooked with onions, peppers and tomatoes – nopalitos!

And not to be outdone, the resilient cactus casually displays her bright blooms to the hot sun. On a recent drive home to see family, we pulled over to admire these roadside beauties.