Gopher Tortoise -- Gopherus polyphemus, digs out Milton in Collier County, FL:
‘I did but prompt the age to quit their clogs
By the known rules of ancient liberty,
When straight a barbarous noise environs me
Of owls and cuckoos, asses, apes, and dogs,
As when those hinds that were transformed to frogs
Railed at Latona’s twin-born progeny,
Which after held the sun and moon in fee.
But this it got by casting pearl to hogs,
That bawl for freedom in their senseless mood,
And still revolt when truth would set them free.
License they mean when they cry liberty;
For who loves that must first be wise and good:
But from that mark how far they rove we see,
For all this waste of wealth and loss of blood.’ ~ “I Did But Prompt the Age” by John Milton, 1673.
Prickly Pear Cactus -- Opuntia spp., i think O. humifusa.
ode to a prickly pair... ?