Goat heads

  Goatheads! Oh man, have we got them this year! I have already been trying to catch them early, but they are coming up all over this 5 acres like an epidemic. I don't know what causes one year to the next to have a plague of something different every year. This will be the year of the GOAT head. LOL!

  I have a goathead story that happened long after my kid feet ceased being tough. When David and I lived in our first home in Ridgecrest Heights (formerly known as Rocket Town), we had a bad goathead year. I had managed to keep them out of the backyard right by our patio. But right behind the house, where the outdoor faucet was, they were quite thick...unbeknownst to me.

  Well, David was up on the roof working on the swamp cooler as it was warming up rather quickly. I could hear him hollering at me from inside the house, so I ran outside in my bare feet to see what he wanted. He was trying to clean out the cooler and asked me to shut the power off. I went to the box on the corner of the house and threw the switch. Then waited.

  Next he told me to switch it back on, and I guess I was a little quicker than he expected. The next thing I know he is hollering and popping up and down like a rabbit. I ran back and shut her down again and stepped back and said, "What happened????"
He was a little shaky and SCREAMED at me, "I JUST GOT THE SHOT SHICKED OUT OF ME!!!" (Obviously he was slightly speech-impaired.) When I recovered, I could hardly stop laughing. But my moment was coming.

  Now he is cussing and yelling instructions down at me and told me to get around to the back and shut off the water, which was pouring all over the roof at this point. In my nervous agitation due to the previous event, I took off running around the side of the house. Before I could process the mess I was in, it was too late. I was in the middle of a goathead patch with both feet FULL of stickers. The pain being extreme, I did what anyone would d
o. I sat down...very quickly, and unfortunately, very hard. And now....well, you know..it's honestly the first time I have had a fanny covered in painful goatheads.

  Now I am the one squealing and trying to balance myself on two carefully placed hands and my heels. Finally David's head looks over the edge of the roof at me and says, "What the hell are you doing????"

  I could barely gasp, "Help....I am stickered!"

  He came charging down the ladder, turned off the water and tried to assess this new situation. Since I could not stand up or sit down, he picked me up. Once off the ground, I was gingerly trying to pick stickers out of my fanny and then he carried me into the house. He sat me down on the edge of the bathtub. The plan was to grab something to put stickers in after pulling them out of my feet. So he left me sitting precariously on the edge of the tub with my feet in the air, to get peroxide and a waste basket. The next thing he heard as he went around the corner, was a large thump and bang. The final insult. I lost the battle with balance and fell into the tub. Rather hard I might say. So now adding to a million little holes, many in very undignified places, I now have a bruise on my hip and a bump on my head. All because of the evil of the goathead sticker. Which I now have an obsessive paranoia about.

   In the end, it does make a funny story. And once we got all my wounds treated and he had safely installed me in a cushy place on the couch, he sat down and heaved a great sigh of exhaustion at such an eventful day. And then.....he began to laugh. And laugh. And laugh. And when he thinks of this story, he still laughs.

   Cathy Schmeer

You brought back some wonderful memories of goat heads. I had totally not thought about goat heads in a billion years. Once some of our friends came up from the San Fernando Valley to spend two weeks with us. We first took them to the Trona Pool. On the way there the youngest boy, about six years old said "p.u. rotten eggs!" We all laughed. A few days later we were running around up by Isabella and got into a patch of goat heads. Well, my sisters and I had such tough feet that we barely noticed the stickers. Maybe got one or two...you know how much they hurt....but our poor friends, having been raised on the soft tufty grass of the valley, nearly died from the agony and feet full and I mean FULL of goat heads. We had to carry them out of the sticker patch piggy back....ah, the good old days...haha

   PAM Noyes


Prickly Pear Cactus








  the Prickly Pear cactus is armed with some obvious spikes.  They are easy to identify and
with care offer no problem to humans or animals alike.  But accidents are always bound to happen as illustrated in the following story_________________________________________________________


_
We lived in Johannesbue had a cute little white picket fence all around our house. In the corner of the back yard was a huge prickly pear cactus...tall and wide.  There was a chair that sat in front of it. Just an ordinary kitchen chair which I would sit in each day while playing with my little dog Rags. Sometimes we would play chase and then I would hop up into the chair to escape Rags' pull on the seat of my britches.

    Well, one morning my mom went out and raked the yard to clear it of doggy doo...in the process she moved the chair and did not think to put it back in place. Later that day Rags and I engaged in our ritual game of chase and in the midst of the squealing and excitement I threw myself up into the chair which was not there!......(pause).....hahaha....I ended up seated in the middle of the prickly pear screaming my little lungs out.

   Rags ran to the back door barking until my mom came out and rescued me from the arms of the prickly ogre. She carried me inside by my armpits and laid me over her lap. She used a pair of scissors to remove my clothing. She then began to pull needles(spikes) from my backside. I cried and cried.

   Then she laid me on my stomach on the cool bathroom floor while she ran a bath to which she added epsom salts. Before placing me in the bath she poured peroxide all over my backside. The fizzle of it caused me to quiet down for some reason. While it was fizzling she continued to pull out needles with some tweezers while using a magnifying glass, and then put me in the bath. I don't know how long I stayed in the bath, but the water got cold and then she removed me and dressed me in a loose gown and put me to bed because I was thoroughly exhausted. I remember she gave me a baby aspirin. For days I would sit down and "find" a new needle in my pin cushion(hinny). It is funny now thinking of it, but it was horrendous and very traumatic for me as a child. My dad dug up the cactus and burnt it.  We had sort of a ceremony when he did that. It was at night and the fire was so lovely.....:)

  Pam Noyes
High Desert Memories - A Hometown Journal Commemorating Ridgecrest California
Page Three
The Desert in Bloom
. . . . . Flowers so thick that you can't walk without killing something!!!

    
Every year the desert blooms along about March thru May.  It blooms in all the colors of the rainbow but most prevalent are blues and yellows and as each week passes a new group of flowers blooms.  Each variety having its own natural clock and season. 

During years where there is a fair amount of snowfall, the flowers are most prolific.  Only because of the presence of extra moisture in the desert sand.   Indian Paintbrush isn't out yet but will follow within a week or two and the Asters will be out then too.  The lupine will be seen at this level but are most prolific in higher country. 
The pictures you see here were taken March 13, 2003 on the property of David and Cathy Schmeer.   They live just a couple of miles outside of Inyokern as you can see by the mountains in the background in some of the pictures.
 
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  Beware the Stickery things
  Goatheads - The scourge of the desert. 

   The goathead is a very pestiferous weed that offers nothing but misery.  It hurts when stuck to bare feet,  flattens bike tires like a needle,  sticks to the soles of shoes,  gets into pets paws and is hard to get rid of.

   One of the devilish things about goatheads is that no matter how they lie on the ground there is always a spike up  to catch the unsuspecting passerby.












   Also they are very prolific and therefore you usually don't pick them up one at a time.

   So now your aware of the problem.  So lets see what the plants look like.
  Plants are ground hugging
  Not a bad looking plant but underneath theres living hell for the uninformed.
   ...and heres a group of the wicked things in action