Saguaro (Triptych)

The first stop of our March 2019 road trip was at Saguaro National Park East near Tucson, Arizona. Coming from the lush greenery of San Diego in spring, it was a rather strange place to us, but it’s impossible to not be amazed by the sheer size of the Saguaro cacti (Carnegiea gigantea), even after the long drive from San Diego.

Before they have arms, Saguaros are called spears, and they don’t begin to branch before they’re at least 75 years old, often much later. All three specimen in the photos are thus at least that old, probably much older. These cacti can get up to 200 years old.

"The Siblings" - Saguaro cactus pair at Saguaro National Park East, near Tuscon, Arizona. Early March 2019.
“The Siblings” – Saguaro cactus pair at Saguaro National Park East, near Tuscon, Arizona. Early March 2019.
"The Finger" - Saguaro cactus with many arms, Saguaro National Park East, near Tuscon, Arizona. Early March 2019.
“The Finger” – Saguaro cactus with many arms, Saguaro National Park East, near Tuscon, Arizona. Early March 2019.
Short & stubby young arm of a Saguaro cactus at Saguaro National Park East, near Tuscon, Arizona. Early March 2019.
Short & stubby young arm of a Saguaro cactus at Saguaro National Park East, near Tuscon, Arizona. Early March 2019.

Lots of interesting facts about this giant cactus can be found on the Wikipedia page for the Saguaro cactus.


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8 thoughts on “Saguaro (Triptych)”

  1. We lived in Arizona for several years, and I miss the drives we’d take up to Tucson. It was great watching out the window, seeing all these huge saguaro in the distance, then seeing them up close after we parked. Nice job showing off some different views, each with a very different feel to the light. I love the closeup, how the light caused the spines to seemingly glow.

    Reply
  2. These work really well in black and white, Alex! I wouldn’t have thought they would, but they do.

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  3. LOL The one you named “The Finger” was my first thought on looking at it. All beautiful and work really well in B&W. I need to get there and see them in person.

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  4. Saguaros are so much fun to photograph, the endless variations…I didn’t know it takes THAT long for them to branch. They are noble beasts, aren’t they? They do lend themselves to black and white, and I especially am drawn to the last one, with the fine detail and the balance of curved rows of spines and straight rows.

    Reply
    • Thank you, Lynn! I did like their muted green color and was surprised that they looked better in black & white. I wish we would have had a little more time there to take a hike – but that’s reason to go back. I still need to find out what the best time of the year would be for another visit though.

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