Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Lot C: Drought So Bad Even The Cactus Has Run Out Of Stored Water

Photo: Diane Edwardson, November 11, 2014.  Seemingly overnight, the large patch of Mission Cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica) at the entrance to the Red Car Property at India St, looks like it was deflated.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

Three years of record drought is taking its toll the landscape of Los Angeles.  When it's so bad, well established cactus runs through all of its stored moisture, you know the drought is serious.  The large pads of this cactus will get thinner in dry months, but I've never seen them this bad in the 24 years I've walked the Red Car Property.  Severe drought leaves this cactus more susceptible to insects, fungus & disease.  (The patches of white on the cactus pads are cochineal insects.)
Photo: Diane Edwardson, November 11, 2014.  Luckily, cactus usually rebounds with rain, if fungus hasn't taken hold.  However, those dead trees are not going to return.  They've been dead for a couple of years now (documented on the blog: alive in July 2012).