Cactus article accepted!

I just submitted a popular article to the Cactus and Succulent Journal and it’s been accepted for publication! Cacti Conundrums should be out in the September-October issue. I discuss my growing obsession with the small, round cactus species I’ve found on our property in northern Colorado.

Here’s an excerpt:

“When I took a break from unloading the U-Haul, I sat down on the grass along our gravel driveway. I glanced down and noticed a small, cylindrical cactus by my left hand. “Cool, columnar cactus,” I thought. “I wonder what kind they are?” I had no time then to figure out what it was, plus my plant keys were in a moving box and the computer wasn’t hooked up. I sighed and returned to lugging furniture from the U-Haul.”

Our home in the foothills.







Pincushion cactus (Escobaria vivipara)
Nylon hedgehog cactus (Echinocereus viridiflorus).
Mountain ball cactus (Pediocactus simpsonii).






I Love that New Book Smell

Whenever I frequent a bookstore and thumb through the pages of a new paperback, I’m transported back to elementary school and Scholastic Books. The Scholastic Book Club program was a highlight of my school year. My teacher sent home the list of available books with their descriptions and pricelist. I’d badger my parents about how much I could spend for books and then figure out how many books I could get for that amount.

The day the book boxes arrived in my classroom was like Christmas. My teacher carefully opened the boxes and arranged the books into stacks. The new paperback smell permeated the air overpowering the smell of chalk, sweat, and dirty sneakers. She gave each of us a list of the books we ordered and one by one we walked past the piles, grabbing the ones off our list. The final stop was back at her desk, where she double-checked our list and books.

Back at my desk, I admired the cover pictures and read the story synopsis on the back of each cover. Then, as I opened a book, the paper and ink smell of adventure carried me inside.