Tag Archives: saguaro

The Luscious Saguaro Flower

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Any feedback from professional photographers on how I could have captured this image even more clearly would be greatly appreciated.

This macro showcases the 24-hour saguaro flower. The flower usually appear in June, but what with all this wacky weather here on planet Earth, they’ve blossomed 2 months early. Saguaros, for the initiated, are those iconic Sonoran cacti, tall and long-armed, like a green army marching over the hills. They are only native to this small region of the planet, although they can thrive in other deserts. The buds are about 6 inches long, and appear on the end of mature arms, and on the very top of the cactus, in clusters of up to a few dozen.

Bats with long tongues pollinate these flowers, which have a delicate but delicious aroma. You can see how deep the flower goes here. Each flower blooms for a single day, but only some of the cluster bloom on any given day. When the flower shrivels, a red fruit remains, but I’ve never tried one. They are generally difficult to obtain, often 20 feet overhead, and the birds usually get at them first.

I’m sort of pleased with this image, which was the best out of a dozen, but it could still be better. Maybe if I’d had the tripod with me. I can never figure out how to line up macro shots of thing that have various levels of depth, particularly is the center is the bit that’s farther away from the camera. I’d like to go back to this particular cactus (it has a very low-hanging arm with a huge cluster and it’s very close to the road) and try to get a sharper image, but I’m not sure that I’ll have the time.

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Prickly People Need Love, Too

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Slightly more enticing than the average guy wearing a “FREE HUGS” sign around his neck.

A couple years back, The Man took me to see some a friend perform standup comedy at a local club. One of other comedians doing a set that night was from out of town, and it might have been his first time in the desert. He tried out what was obviously a joke he had just thought of on his way into town, about the saguaro cacti and how they held their arms with a pugilistic attitude, making them all look like they wanted to fight.

He didn’t get any laughs with that joke, and I think it was because it was too easy, and it didn’t go far enough. Those of us who live here know that they don’t all look like they want to fight. Some of them do, but some of them look like they want to shake hands, reach something off a high shelf, or push people away, or hold them tenderly. A lot of them look like they want to hold you tenderly.

A lot of them look like they’re really proud to have sprouted arms that resemble genitalia, and then want to show those appendages off to you.

The point is, saguaros all have a lot of personality, in a way that can’t be said for every type of plant. They’re distinguishable, and while there are some with a particularly classic shape, no 2 are alike, and they’re easy to anthropomorphize.

Hard to hug, though.

Not impossible. But difficult.