Lewis recognized by EHS Athletic Dept. Western Brown wrestling team tops Tigers in regular season dual Broncos even at 3-3 Lady Rockets blast past CCP, fall to Bethel-Tate Angela L Shuler John C Otten Grace Pedigo plays cello for class at RULH RULH fourth grade math class hard at work RULH MS students visit Aronoff Center Fifteen indicted by Brown County Grand Jury Rita Tarvin Rocket win streak reaches five G-Men ascend to 4-0 in SBAAC National Division with win at Williamsburg Jays soar to 3-1 with win at North Adams Young Lady Jays improving as season progresses Mary J Yockey Callie J Maynard Windle Blanton Daisy D Nevels RULH HS students visit Jungle Jims Aberdeen Council has busy end of the year River Village Christmas celebration begins SR 41 now open Gast’s three-point shower drowns the Tigers Lady Rockets capture wins over Ripley, Batavia Keplinger signs with Shawnee State Warriors down the Devils, fall to the Greyhounds Broncos edge out Williamsburg, 53-50 Carol S Newman John E Short RULH Elementary names ‘Go Green’ Students RE/MAX Local Experts opens in Williamsburg RULH wraps up ‘No Shave November’ fundraiser Eleven indicted by Brown County Grand Jury Donald C Vance John C Morris Rebecca E Simpson Hot start sets pace for Broncos’ 85-40 win over CNE G-Men get off to 1-1 start Lady Rockets start off season with tough string of road games Basketball Special: 2017-18 Katherine J Wolfe Virginia J Germann Rev Commadora Manning Mona K Kirker Ohio Rural Heritage Association donates to Food Pantry RULH FCCLA attends meeting in D.C. RULH MS students try ‘Tabletop Twitter’ Ripley Village Christmas update Bonita Planck Carol J Wagner Christopher O Richey Sr Five new members to enter WBHS Athletic Hall of Fame Blue Jays ready to soar under Woodward Fischer named to OPSWA All-Ohio First Team of football all-stars High school girls’ hoop action kicks off in Brown County Formation of new joint Fire & EMS District discussed RULH students learn about ‘Global Food’ Personal financial management class at RULH High School Dale G Ferriel John E Slack Nicholas A Arthur Bonnie J Roush Charles E Faul Phyllis A Mills Carl L Watson Marc W Bolce Robert R Moore Robert K King June R Williams William T Ishmael Sr Deborah J Napier High school hoop action begins Fayetteville SAY Girls Wing Soccer Team finishes season among state’s Final Four Devils visit Georgetown for OHSAA Foundation Games Grandfather charged in boy’s death ‘Real Money’ at RULH Middle School Ripley High School celebrates Veterans Day Reward increases for information leading to conviction in Stykes’ murder Ripley Village Christmas update Kenneth M McKinley Vilvens signs with Mount St. Joseph SBAAC awards girls tennis all-stars Layman inducted into Miami University Athletic Hall of Fame SBAAC hands out awards to First Team girls’ soccer all-stars John D Marks Aberdeen Police Department receives ‘Shop With a Cop’ donation Benefit to take place Nov. 17 for Grace Copple St. Michael students take part in Community Soup Supper Voters return Worley to the bench Ruby A Ratliff Donna J Moore Stella M Glasscock Ellen L Gelter Alverda T Guillermin Justin N Beach EHS dedicates ‘Kiser Court’ SBAAC awards First Team football all-stars, winning teams Sizer earns SBAAC American Division Volleyball Player of Year honors for 3rd straight year Broncos to host Blue Jays for OHSAA ‘Jimmy Young’ Foundation Game, Nov. 17

Prickly beauties best seen at a distance

The first time I observed the beautiful yellow blooms of the Eastern Prickly-Pear Cactus, I was on a plant rescue for the Heritage Garden at the Ohio Governor’s Residence. Large clumps were blooming everywhere along a runway close to a small airport in northern Ohio.

A few years ago, fellow OSUE Brown County Master Gardener volunteer Susan Barber shared a “start” of the prickly beauty and added a warning, “Don’t ever handle this without heavy gloves.”

I planted the cactus close to a weeping crabapple tree and soon realized I had made a serious error. I would check on the cactus every time I got the mail and would find the stems scattered and pulled up from the ground. After a closer look, I discovered deer tracks around the area. The deer were walking on the cactus to reach the crabapples. The only good news is that they may have left with a few spines in their legs.

My patch of cactus has never grown too big because of my deer “buddies,” and a few times as I have weeded around it, I accidentally touched the stems and they penetrated my cloth gloves. I spent the next few days applying liquid white glue to my fingers trying to eradicate the spines. Now I admire these beautiful yellow flowers (sometimes with red centers) from a safe distance.

Last year, the Wednesday Weeders at the Governor’s Heritage Garden enjoyed learning about cooking prickly-pear cactus. I have to admit that I will probably never try it at home after suffering through those few little spines embedded in my fingers.

Robert L. Henn, author of “Wildflowers of Ohio,” describes Eastern Prickly-Pear (Opuntia humifusa) as being recognized more often by its distinctive stems rather than by its flowers. The stems are large, flattened, jointed pads, three inches wide, and are covered with needle-like spines and tiny barbed spines that are difficult to remove from the skin. This is the only native cactus growing east of the Mississippi River. It is a rare plant in Ohio, listed as a potentially threatened species by the Division of Natural Areas and Preserves and is a native to Ohio.

Prickly-pear cactus can be found in select sites throughout Ohio and thrives in dry, rocky, sandy areas such as dunes, prairies and shores. June and July are the months you can catch this prickly beauty in bloom.

I can’t believe that it is almost time to talk about our July list of gardening tasks. My tomatoes have grown a foot with all this rain and heat. It is time to tuck the vines back inside the cages and check for signs of disease. It might be time to start the weekly preventative treatment with fungicide.

Don’t forget to email your gardening questions to OSUE Brown County Master Gardener volunteer Mike Hannah at mhannah2@msn.com.

Faye Mahaffey is an OSU Master Gardner volunteer.

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