A friend of mine told me about someone who is so into cacti that he attends an annual cactus convention, where one can feast one’s eyes on cacti worth a thousand dollars or more. I don’t know why, but the thought of cactus conventions makes me really happy. I’m glad they exist in the world.
It had never occurred to me that they would exist, but it doesn’t surprise me that they do. I mean, we have flower shows, right? So why not an event for their more arid cousins?
A lazy Google search just yielded me a Cactus and Succulent Society of America convention that will be held for several days in July in San Obispo, California. What fun. I’m thrilled that they threw the succulents into the mix, for those of us who want a kinder, gentler cactus. (Actually, cacti are succulents, not the other way around, technically speaking, but for some reason cacti always get singled out. Poor cacti. Can you tell I like saying Cacti?)
The convention includes an opening reception, speakers, field trips, vendors, and a barbecue banquet. But wait, there’s more. If you become a member of the CSSA, you get their tri-annual journal, seeds from their seed depot, and support the “cactus and succulent community” through education, conservation, scientific research and research grants.
It may sound like I’m making fun of this interest, but really, I’m delighted by it. It’s like I’m seeing a whole new world that I didn’t even know existed. It gives me hope. It just goes to show that there are so many things in the world that can hold our fascination. It makes me feel like the planet, and we humans who inhabit it, are rife with possibilities.
It also makes me view the average cacti with a great deal more respect. So, yeah, there’s that.
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