Scaled image un52.jpg

Echinocereus rubispinus eaten by pack rats
New Mexico hasn't had much rain at all this past year. In fact, we just had a quarter inch (8 mm) of rain, the first moisture in many months. The pack rats that like to spend winters among my plants have been particularly vicious this past winter, continuing to the present. I think that the main reason they attack my cacti is for the moisture, not so much for food. But this is a conjecture out of the blue. They've damaged several dozen of my plants. The tool next to the cactus is a great discovery. The saw tip oscillates like crazy,, which means that I can slice through cactus tissue and wood (the real problem) without major compression damage, as would be the case with ordinary saws and knives. I have, since this picture, carved up the plant to try to re-establish it, looking better than this eaten-out mess.   (52/72)   

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