Monday, April 3, 2017

Seeing the Saguaro

When I was a kid we drove along Interstate 10 on our way to southern California. I can remember seeing Saguaro cactus out the window, but there was never time to get out and walk among them.

Yesterday, there was time. Yesterday, the Saguaro were the destination. We learned about them, hiked around them, took pictures of them.

Saguaro are 20, 30 even 50 feet tall. They might be 70 years old before they grow a branch. Though  they're found only in southern Arizona and parts of Mexico, they're icons of the American West.

I wondered as I walked whether that's why they seem so familiar. But there's something else at work. Some of them reach out with open arms, others give a stiff salute. They look a little human out there, and in fact the Tohono O'odham Indians treat them as revered members of the tribe, not quite people but not quite cactus, either.

After just a few hours among the plants I can understand why.

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