Death wants more death (1 Viewer)


It is what it is
I've been taking care of cacti for nearly 20 years and nothing this horrible has ever happened before.

I was out checking and doing some watering when I was stopped short by the sight of a sparrow caught on my Mamilopsis (Mamilaria) Senilis.
Needless to say the poor bugger was dead.
Getting him off was a real problem - I had to cut a bunch of the hooked spines off.

Don't click on the image link if you don't want to feel as crappy as I did today.

M. Senilis.jpg
Hell, it is war all the time.
That's sad and strange. But then that's nature.
One of my cats was playing with a beautiful bird. The bird was suffering and I had to release him....but how. Did it with a stone. The moment the bird died, the color of his eyes changed in bright blue. Horrible experience, but fair.

The cats are long gone as well.
What a horrible and interesting photo.
Is there a reason the needles have hooks at the end?
Is that how that cactus transfers seeds?
I always thought the needles were just for protection.
Having taken many midnight walks through the high desert at Joshua Tree I can sympathize with the bird.

That's a weird one though...the bird seems pretty large to get caught up in a small plant like that. Maybe the wind or another bird or something drove it into the cactus...strange.
That is so sad to find something like that. I was once, while trimming queen palms saw some strange leaves and twigs sticking out of a large flower pod. It turned out to be feathers and feet. The mummified bird was trapped in the end of the large thin pod. Maybe because I was stoned but I had a clostriphobic panic attack when I imagined what had happened to that poor bird. I must be a wimp, whatever. I don't like to see death either.
Hank solo; Sad and strange is right - terrible but enthralling somehow. Nature, yeah, but I feel like I allowed this to happen, as I put old bread out for the birds. I should never have put this particular cactus on the ground. It's up in the greenhouse now.

Ponder; Christ... I don't know what I would have done if I had seen the bird get caught up. I'm sure I could not have freed it. So then I would have had to watch it die. Yours was a real trial!

Jimmy Snerp; The needles are for protection, sure... nothing to do with seed dispersion. Many plants of this type have hooked central spines. They repay my years of devoted attention by occasionally shredding my hand. I guess native animals know to stay the hell away from such plants.

mjp; I am also assuming another bird (fighting over the bread) forced this sparrow too near the plant. I envy you your midnight walks. I am a desert creature myself. When I was in Arizona in 2000 I felt like I had come home. I feel the same in central Australia but there are no cactus :(

Gerard; Exactly! My blood went cold once my brain had resolved the image (it took me a while to realize what I was looking at!). The 'movie' of what had occurred kept playing through my mind and like you (wimp or whatever) I was the bird.

Luke; Thanks.

All; Thanks plenty (your generous heap of support for my minor tragedy).

Moving on.
There are plants centimetres away that have long dagger-like spines that would have done the job much more efficiently.
The wounds I saw were not the cause of death.
This poor bird died of exhaustion and/or shock trying to get off those damn hooks.
I staggered into a catus that looked very simular to that one on my parents patio in AZ. last year. I actually had to throw away the jeans I was wearing because I could never get all the thorns out of them, and the damn things kepy extruding (?) out of my legs for about two weeks. poor bird....
I have quite a few cacti and the nastiest is one fuzzy little critter that looks soft and harmless. The fuzz is actually tiny barbed spines that, at the slightest touch, readily detach from the cactus and into your skin. They're so small that they're really difficult to see when you try to pull the little bastards out.
Come On! Olaf! Can't we shed some tears here and embrace how fragile life is? I gave the bird I found a proper burial, yes I was stoned but I hadn't lost my soul. I wasn't drunk too.

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