We visited Saguaro National Park in Tucson, Arizona late in the afternoon, where I got some great backlit shots of saguaro, such as this one:
I am fascinated with saguaros, which are the trees of life in the Sonoran Desert, because of the interesting shapes that sprout as “arms” from their main trunk.
Saguaros grow very slowly, so these photos are of cacti that are fairly old. These majestic giants live as long as 200 years!
The saguaro harbors a variety of life forms – such as woodpeckers (who make holes in their trunks) and elf owls (who live in the abandoned holes), as well as many others who shelter beneath the cactus – snakes, rodents, and other animals. Native American tribes traditionally collected the fruit of the saguaro, which was used in their diet. They would use long poles to get the fruit down or collect it after it fell to the ground.
During its long life, the saguaro stores water in the folds of its trunk and arms – the folds act like an accordion, expanding in years with more rainfall, and contracting in dry years.
Even when this giant dies, creatures take advantage of its large bulk, where they burrow and lay eggs. Native peoples stripped its stems and used them as building materials.
Note the tangle of curved arms in this saguaro!
Another interesting sight to explore at Saguaro National Park are the petroglyphs carved on rocks by ancient peoples who lived in the area.
Swirls, curves, wheel-like circles, suns, animals, and other carvings were symbols which had religious or social meanings for their creators.
Becky’s January Square – backlight.
One Word Sunday: Curve
5 thoughts on “January Square and One Word Sunday: Cacti & Petroglyphs in Saguaro National Park”
wow this is a fabulous history and natural history post. Fascinating, and all so beautiful too. Thank you so much
Thank you! I learned a lot about the saguaro when I was teaching because there was a non-fiction story about it in our 4th grade reading anthology, so we did a whole project on it. Then I went to Arizona and just loved seeing the variety of saguaros and other cacti.
Plant life in deserts is incredible
Some great shots. Some of them look remarkably human!
Yes, one of the things I did while we were there is have my husband take photos of me imitating the position of the arms on different cacti!