Saguaro cactuses have been all around us during our stays in both the Phoenix and Tucson areas. They are the sentinels of the desert and I never tire of seeing them. They don’t all grow straight and tall, with two or more arms up. Just as humans do, they all have their personalities, and it began to be fun to look for the “different” ones.
First, I have for you five fun saguaro facts:
- Young saguaros can best survive when “nursed” by trees which shelter them. Above, these saguaros in Saguaro National Park East are being sheltered by a palo verde tree.
2. Saguaros only grow an inch or two in their first six to eight years. These “babies” are really older than you would think.
3. It may be 70 years before they sprout branches, or arms. These saguaros near the Superstitions are very, very old. And, some saguaros never sprout arms.
4. Saguaros reach full height of about 40-50 feet at about age 150. The tallest can be as high as 75 feet. How old do you think this saguaro, with its many arms, is?
5. Birds find food and homes in saguaros. Raptors perch on the tallest branches to search for prey. The long beak on this little fellow seems well suited for saguaro drilling!
My favorite saguaros:
The best is last. This is a “crested saguaro” which lives at the Desert Museum in Phoenix. It’s a very rare mutation, and there are only about 2,500 of them spread throughout the saguaro habitation zone. I only saw one other during our time here, and it was not nearly this beautiful. I happened to catch it at sunset.
We are leaving the land of the saguaros for awhile and going to Hawaii! Frodo and Sam will be going into storage for a month. This is a long-planned, Covid-delayed retirement celebration. We will be in Hawaii three weeks before going to Denver for some time with our grandchildren.
I am hoping to not go totally dark with this blog during that time, and would like to think that I may blog while I am there. But I’d rather live the journey while I’m there than to be holed up and on a computer, of course! If all else fails, I will be back, and will write about the whole trip then.
Next time – Hawaii!