Saturday, September 21, 2013

This cactus is a Star Wars alien

I still exist! Yes, I've mostly moved on from this blog, being busy with other things now. But this was just too good not to share with anyone who might still be checking in.

I recently visited Koko Crater Botanical Garden, near the southeast corner of Oahu in one of the driest regions of the island. It's kind of amazing here, where you can go from tropical rainforest to near-desert conditions in just a 20-minute drive or so. I was there with my family, who were all in town for a big family reunion.

We saw some very cool trees--baobabs, sausage trees, something with pods containing red beans, strange fruit trees--and lots of interesting cacti--cacti hanging from a tree, making it look like it was covered with prickly snakes; large, round, fuzzy cacti that almost looked like they'd make a good seat. But when my brothers and I came across this one cactus, we stood there, looking up, until one of us said what the others were all thinking: "It looks like a Star Wars alien."

Here's the cactus:

Wait, what's that in the top left corner?

Oh my god it's a Talz! You know, this guy Muftak, from the cantina:

The fluffy "fur" on the ends of the cactus branches was genuinely soft, but you couldn't stroke too enthusiastically or else you'd find the short spines underneath. Of all the plants we saw in that botanical garden, this was definitely my favorite.

On another note, in a few days I will be leaving for Indonesia! I'll be there for about two weeks. When I get back, I may share some of my favorite photos from the trip. Might be another 8 months before I make a post, but uh, yeah. We'll see.