I thought the color of these newly-forming Opuntia paddles was neat, so I took a quick pic. Like most opuntias, these have tiny thick leaves as they emerge, which quickly fall off, leaving the big round (thorny!) pads.
"I would also feel really lost in such a bleak environment. We were in Germany across the street from the barracks in 1972 living in German rental housing. Lots of chain link & barb wire for a view. Wouldn't want to be stationed in the…"