This is the same plant the day before blooming with my hand in the picture for scale. I'd like to do a time-lapse sequence of this cactus preparing to bloom sometime in the future.
[Links: David Sobel has written a thought provoking article "Look, Don't Touch: The problem with environmental education". He makes some very valid points concerning how we introduce kids to nature and how that has changed over time. It made me reflect on all the neat experiences my friends and I had outdoors growing up and how very different some of those experiences might be today. Recommended. Its in the ORION Magazine and you can read the article here.]