Posts Tagged ‘cacti’

for One Word Sunday: three

We’re taking a break from Wyoming this week (but we will definitely be back there again) to start a series about a walk we took to Saguaro National Park on Saturday. My husband’s been working nonstop since the middle of July and this was the first opportunity he’s had to get out of the area around our house. So we took advantage of it.

When you think of cacti, you’re likely to think of the iconic saguaro (sue-waar’-oh), its arms extending upward, and in southern Arizona near Tuscon, these giants have their own national park. Saguaro National Monument was created in 1933 and there have been several additions since that time and the switch to a national park. We’ll focus just the saguaro today, even though there are a plethora of cactus types here.

The saguaro isn’t just another pretty face! It serves as an apartment for a variety of desert creatures, one reason you see one often pockmarked with openings.

It’s difficult to imagine or convey how many saguaros there are in the park. To say there’s a forest of them isn’t to understate! I found myself laughing and shaking my head quite a few times during the day when I saw how many there were.

If you (carefully) touch a saguaro, you’ll feel a hard surface. The accordion-like skin expands when full and shrinks when conditions are drier. As odd as it seems to us, all those spines provide a sort of shade for the cactus. But a cactus can also die, as seen in the photo below. That’s really a cactus skeleton.

Not every saguaro is in lockstep with the traditional, expected arms-up posture. Some have a much more quirky look.

I plan to come back here in spring when there will be millions of beautiful white flowers, Arizona’s state flowers, atop the arms. Bee, birds, and bats love these flowers while providing pollination. The flowers are only open for a short time but flower sequentially and there are also red fruit. Take a quick look here for more information and photos. It’s well worth your time to learn more about this keystone species. Here’s an unusual tidbit to close off our visit for today:

In 1982, a man was killed after damaging a saguaro. David Grundman was shooting and poking at a saguaro cactus in an effort to make it fall. An arm of the cactus, weighing 500 lb (230 kg), fell onto him, crushing him and his car. The trunk of the cactus then also fell on him. The Austin Lounge Lizards wrote the song “Saguaro” about this death. Wikipedia

That makes this Farmer’s Insurance ad entirely possible. (Note: no endorsement here except for a good commercial.)

https://www.ispot.tv/ad/dOx6/farmers-insurance-hall-of-claims-cactus-calamity

for Jo’s Monday Walk

Have you seen the signs by new apartments that say “If you lived here, you’d be home by now?” I thought of that when I saw this hole, which quite likely could be home to a bird of some sort.

If you lived here, you’d be next door to an outstanding restaurant.

If you lived here, you’d have a cozy little place just right for you.

If you lived here, you’d have a fantastic bird’s eye view. It ups the price, but you’ll appreciate the space and amenities. King-sized bed included.

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For Six Word Saturday

As behooves us now living a desert climate, here’s a desert flower, the flower of the prickly pear cactus. We have two somewhat small prickly pears in the backyard, but they have a prodigious number of flowers waiting to bloom.

These flowers welcomed us to our new home. I mentioned their beauty to the owner who replied, amazed, that she had been at the house just a few days earlier and there were no flowers. Several are already beginning to wilt, but oh, are they glorious!!

I didn’t stop much any of the three days, but on the last day, in Arizona, I did take a few shots out of the window. These shots give point-and-shoot a whole new meaning and quite a few get deleted. But here are a few I thought you might enjoy. Yes, I keep my eyes firmly on the road throughout!

By the way, I signed the lease for our rental house Thursday and it’s a beauty. I’m so excited. More on that when I get back and have internet all the time. Yesterday’s post was done on my phone, which is an experience I’d rather not have often. Today’s comes from the library via my iPad, easier but not the ease of a laptop.

This one might have still been in New Mexico.

There are some strange critters in the desert! Spotted these while waiting at a train crossing.

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© janet m. webb

for One Word Sunday

© janet m. webb

© janet m. webb

for Six Word Saturday