It may seem strange to those who are acquainted with the spiny nature of most species of cacti, that cattle should attempt to eat them. Yet, such is the case in this country, where many species of these plants abound. The kinds mostly eaten are the Opuntia Rafinesqui and O. Missouri-ensis. These are frequently eaten during the winter and spring, when the grass is very short. The animal very cautiously takes the broad, leaflike stem between the tongue and the upper front teeth and gently drawing upward, manages to rub the spines off the upper part of the stem. It then takes hold of this part so freed from spines and gently pulls till the stem is detached from the plant, then rubs it back and forth on the ground till all the spines are broken off when it is taken into the mouth and eaten with a relish. We also have a species of cactus growing in profusion in the parks of this country, popularly called "Buck-horn" cactus, (Opuntia arborescens) that grows from 3 to 5 feet high and is much branched. This, by the way, is the species from which the popular " cactus walking sticks" are procured.

This cactus, during the early summer is covered with bright crimson flowers, followed by pears or seed pods 3/4 to 1 inch in diameter, and 1 to 1 1/2 inches in length.

These seed pods are eaten with avidity by cattle during times when the ground is covered with snow so that the grass is inaccessible. The seeds are small, hard and dry, but the pod is a thick mucilaginous substance, that, when chewed, has much the flavor of the bark of the slippery elm, and is, I should judge, quite nutritious. Animals show much dexterity in picking off these seed pods, at the same time avoiding the formidable spines with which the stems are armed to their very extremities. All these plants are doubtless of a palatable and nutritious character, and were it not for the numerous spines with which they are protected they would soon all disappear from the stock ranges of the west. But whether these spines have been developed by a long process of natural selection or were originally given them for their protection, "no man knoweth to this day," notwithstanding a vast amount of useless speculation. Canon City, Colorado. [In some parts of Mexico, cactuses are regularly fed to cattle, the spines being destroyed by light flaying over a fire. This agricultural cactus is called there nopal. Botanically the cactus is closely allied to the gooseberry and currant, and the fruit quite as wholesome - the spines and aciculi being the great trouble.

The "Barbadoes gooseberry," and "Indian Fig" are species of cactus. - Ed. G. M].