Our front yard is home to a healthy little palm tree that is fairly self-sufficient. On occasion Doug will trim off some of the lower branches, and in the two years we've lived in this house I never paid enough attention to this tree to realize what was hidden beneath the pretty palm fronds.
Watching from our kitchen window, it didn't strike me as odd to see Doug wearing thick gloves for yard work. He does that on occasion. But what did strike me was the way the sunlight was hitting the edges of the branches, revealing a harsher side of our beautiful palm.
I grabbed my camera and joined Doug in the front yard. I mentioned that the branches looked like a wicked saw and he confirmed that that's why thick gloves were in order. You don't want to touch these edges with your bare hands, he warned.
I searched for similar photos online and the best I can tell is this is a Petiole palm. It doesn't surprise me that this palm has sharp edges, as many plants in the desert have defense mechanisms like this to protect them from predators. You won't see pretty little birds perched on these branches, but I hear that scorpions really love to hang out in these palms.
Having seen this palm's underside was an interesting revelation. It looks so shady and welcoming on the outside. And even though I'll not be touching these branches with bare hands anytime soon (ever), it's good to be warned about the dangers lurking there.
Oh, Mother Nature, you are an interesting gal.