EXHIBIT ITEM 109
Beavertail cactus, Nopal
© 2013 Chris Bondante
Fluid acrylics, watercolor, gouache, graphite
The bluish-green pads of the Opuntia basilaris do not have spines, but instead are covered with clusters of reddish-brown glochids, hair-like barbed bristles that stick painfully in the skin. New pads grow from older ones thus making the whole plant low to the ground and sprawling. The brilliant and showy magenta flowers appear in the early to late spring depending on elevation. The seeds are white, not black as in many other cacti, and are unusually large.
Chris has a BS in Microbiology from the University of Arizona and an MA in Biomedical Illustration from California State University at Long Beach. She has worked professionally in the field for over 30 years, and her illustrations appear in books such as Human Anatomy and Physiology, The New Our Bodies, Ourselves, and Key to the Invertebrates of Southern California Coastal Waters by the Southern California Coastal Waters Research Project. Clients include the International Institute for Applied Physiology; Orthopedic Hospital, Los Angeles; the University of Southern California; Avon Books; and California Fish and Game. She recently retired after teaching biology at Pima Community College for 21 years.