Back in the desert...
After working on weeding some of my "rock" yard, i.e., getting a rash on my arms and bleeding from being impaled by goat heads, cactus spines, and anything else that looks nice but is actually full of spikes, I decided to go for a run.
On my run, I noticed that, aside from there being a fantastically beautiful carpeting of tiny wildflowers covering the desert floor, the prickly pear fruit look super vibrant. So when one of my water bottles ran out of water, I loaded it with some fruit. In the process, I discovered tiny hairlike spines that cover the fruit, ones that you can't see until you grab something and realize there are spikes in your hand. Now I know their name...
I got home, looked it up on youtube to see how to peel & eat them and also, step two on wikiHow:
"....The pads not only have large spines, but there are also tiny, invisible and far more irritating spines called glochids that are extremely difficult to remove from the skin. The spines and glochids can also be removed from the prickly pear pads by burning them off with a small torch or by placing the pad on a gas burner and turning it with tongs. See Warnings."
You'd think I'd have learned my lesson about sharp objects in the desert by now. Anyway, they're tasty, but the seeds inside are like little rocks. And it's loaded with them, the whole damn fruit. And now I'm afraid to drink out of my water bottle cuz I'm afraid that somehow those tiny hairy spikes are going to be in there forever and they for sure will get stuck in my esophagus somehow.
Does everything have to be evil in the desert?!!!!! :-P