Desert flowers in the morning at Saguaro NP East
Our second morning in Tucson we drove 20 minutes east to immerse ourselves in the wonders of desert beauty. We were probably a week early to see the cacti in bloom but we saw the buds and they were definitely getting ready. We did, however, get to see a lot of these yellow wildflowers and a few purple and orange ones.
I took a photo of this chart to remember just how old some of these Saguaros are. To get all the cacti in focus, I cut off some of the test. The top line reads
"There is no way to tell exactly how old a cactus is unless you know when it started growing. Unlike trees, cacti do not have annual growth rings, however, the size of the plant does give some indication of its age."
The side information for the first line (10 years) is approximate age for dry areas such as Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. The second line (6-7 years) is approx. age in wet areas such as the East side of Saguaro Nat. Park. (Click photo for larger version.)
A saguaro cactus gets its first appendage at 55-60 years of age.
Below are a couple of photos of pretty old cacti. The first includes my 5ft. 10 in husband and the second is a skeleton cactus.
Bob mimicking the arm position of this large Saguaro cactus.
Bob looking for elf-owl nests in the holes of this Saguaro
Saguaro skeleton aka desert art
I love the gnarly art look of these cacti skeletons though they are quite rare.