I recently met Teri C., an online friend who loves cactus plants, and I wanted to draw a cactus for her. This pen and ink and watercolor drawing isn't too bad, if you ignore the pot. I looked up this cactus online, and I think it is a Mexican barrel cactus. When I bought it, ages ago, it was about the size of a softball, but it has grown to the size of a cantaloupe, and has begun flowering in the summer. It likes summering outside, though sometimes I have to be careful it doesn't get too much water. I repot it every year to two, and the spines are so lethal that I began using leather gloves to handle it. Two days ago I moved it, carefully, to the side of the house that gets more sun, hoping to encourage it to bloom again.
I also moved a big potted geranium that wasn't blooming because, I imagine, the maples have grown so much that a formerly sunny spot now is partly shady. To my horror, only hours later I discovered that the geranium had become a magnet for iridescent green beetles, and they were earnestly chewing the leaves down to the veins. Japanese beetles. I had never seen them before. Since then I have gone out to the plant with a saucepan of soapy water, and sent scads of the critters on a sea cruise. I imagine the kindest thing would be to just send the geranium back to Baby Jesus, and take away the beetle magnet, but I paid a bundle for the plant and hate to give up so easily. We shall see. If I were dedicated I'd sketch a dead bug, but frankly I don't want to look at one that closely.