Here is my entry for the #monomad contest - "The Old Man of the Desert"
Pronounced sa'vwaro. Are tree size cactus that grow throughout the Sonoran Desert in Arizona and the state of Sonora in Mexico. Their scientific name is Carnegiea gigantea and they can grow to over 12 meters tall (or 40 feet)!
Saguaros have an extremely long life of 150 years or more and are around 75 to 100 years old before they even grow their first arm.
(I know it's in color but you couldn't see just how beautiful these are in black and white.) In the spring, after the rains each arm is crowned with flowers. These blooms will fall off and some will ever so slowly become saguaros. Bees and hummingbirds can often be seen flitting about these blooms.
Sometimes they grow so densely together that they form a thick, prickly forest across the landscape.
And I do mean prickly. The last thing you want to do is fall into one of these giants, it can be a rather painful experience (I know!).
Many species of birds that are native to the Sonoran Desert like to make these titans into high rise home as you can see from the nest in the picture above. The Brewer Sparrow is the most common variety to find there and some birds will actually carve out holes in the cactus to dwell in.
Eventually they grow to a point that they can not support their own weight or long drought spells cause them to collapse. Eventually all that is left is a dry, skeletal like remains.
But don't worry these young teenagers will take their place in another 50 to 75 years.
I hope you enjoy my photos and post. Hopefully you learned something new about the strange and wonderful world we live in too.