Frivolous Friday: Falling into Autumn and a Prickly Party at Lake Hodges which led to an Experimental Lunch

Yep.  This happened #1

Took a giant leap into autumn….on Tuesday when it was chilly…

…but now it’s 100 degrees again [sigh] so false alarm.

But my giant leap included a SCARF and an afternoon cup of hot tea…..ahhhh


Yep.  This happened #2

I had a  bright, beautiful PRICKLY encounter this week.

We were hiking around Lake Hodges and noticed about a million Prickly Pear Cactus growing all over the hillsides…

(Yep.  A million – I counted them)

Seriously they are EVERYWHERE and aren’t they gorgeous?  

I did some research and discovered that park volunteers and interns from the San Diego Safari Park have been planting

this Prickly Pear cactus at Lake Hodges for years –two main reasons:


A lot of the cactus were burned up in the 2007 fire

And Secondly:

The endangered Cactus Wren and Gnatcatcher need it to survive!  (They eat it, nest in it, hunt in it and hide from predator hawks in it!)

(HERE is the article if you want to learn more.)

And speaking of needing it to survive – we saw this evidence of something nibbling on it –

So I looked it up and discovered that prickly pear cactus is eaten by rabbits,  deer, squirrels and birds…

And even more animals eat prickly pear during droughts… and interesting fact:  ranchers burn off the spines so that cattle can graze on them.

So then that got us wondering what it tastes like…..and no this wasn’t my big ole bite….

Yep.  This happened #3

We decided to immediately answer our question of what does it taste like by eating it for lunch.  Pretty clever, right?

We headed over to a fun little grocery store/restaurant in Escondido that we thought might sell it – and SCORED!

Here’s what it looks like all warm and sauteed:

We made it into a soft taco…

And guess what…

It DOESN’T taste like chicken   😉

It tastes sorta like green beans.

Enjoyed it, but don’t need to order it again – I’ll just have my usual chicken soft taco next time….  ha!

And in case you ever want to try —

It’s in Northgate Market‘s Hot Food Bar – along with a ton of other amazing foods!

And side note – they do catering!

And make sure you get a fruit drink to go with it!

What can I say:  I’m Feeling Blessed!


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