This photo was taken of the very same Prickly Pear, which has featured in the previous two posts (here & here).  It has, sadly, suffered some fire damage on a few of the lower pads.

Veld-fires in the interior of South Africa are a common occurrence in the cold and dry winter months.  Average rainfall is negligible, resulting in tinder-box conditions.

However, this does at least give me an opportunity to see the internal fibrous structure of this mighty plant.

Nr Memel, Free State – June, 2011