May 15th, 2009
What is Victoria’s full name? I think Manolito uses it in an episode.
Victoria Velasquez de Soto de Montoya is how she is introduced by Mano in the pilot episode, but the experts among us actually agreed it was more properly “Victoria (one middle name at least) de Montoya y Velasquez de Soto” and once she married John it would be “Victoria (one middle name at least) de Montoya y Velasquez de Soto de Cannon”.
-Gail A. Malchester
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I’m new here – what exactly is the Reunion?
Thanks for asking! The High Chaparral Reunion is a gathering of the original cast and crew members of the show, along with loyal fans. It’s a chance for fans of HC to meet the talented people who made their favorite Western, reminisce, meet other fans, and maybe even meet their very favorite star.
Cast and crew members enjoy the Reunion because it gives them a chance to meet the fans who remember their work. They also see their old friends, and reminisce about the show. They truly are The High Chaparral’s biggest fans!
Past Reunions have been held in Los Angeles, but his year it takes place at Old Tucson, where the show was filmed on location. Luckily for us, the original Canon ranch house is still standing on the actual location set. A few things have changed in over 40 years, but many things haven’t, so this is a unique opportunity for everyone.
Why do cactus have needles/spikes?
Firstly they’re called spines. They’re modified leaves – so modified that they actually have little in common with leaves. They appear in clusters and have more than one use. They’re mostly made up of dead cells that form hard, sharp fibres. The fibres are surrounded by a type of tissue-like cell and covered by a waxy cuticle which keeps moisture from escaping. Some books call them modified bud scales but I believe that bud scales are themselves modified leaves.
Only the cells closest to the plant itself are alive. As they die, they move along with the rest, making the spine longer over time. You might think of them a bit like we think of finger nails and hair being dead cells but still able to grow.
The first and very practical use is that it makes them difficult for predators to eat. A mouth full of pins is enough to put anything off a meal. Having said that some species of rodents and other small animals do nibble on them when they can.
The second reason is that their positioning helps them to collect water droplets. The droplets run along the spine, down toward the body of the plant, then down to the roots. The nighttime dew is an important source of water and is collected this way.
Spines also act as windbreaks. This is less obvious in some species but if you’ve ever seen the species commonly called The Old Man Cactus you could see how well they’d work. That one looks like it’s covered in a long beard. It’s scientific name is Cephalocereus senilis. I love the last bit of the name. Can’t you just picture the old cactus reminiscing with itself about the good old days when it was no more than pin high?
By the way, the cactus gets its name from the Greek kaktos which means thistle.
There, now aren’t you glad you asked!