Photo of a saguaro cactus looking from the bottom up.

My obsession with the saguaro

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They’re everywhere. I’m not exaggerating. Maybe just a little bit. It’s hard not to point out every single saguaro cactus you see, if you’ve never been to Arizona and you visit for the first time.

Though, over a year living here, and I’m still obsessed.

Photo of a saguaro cactus

They can grow to around 12 metres tall. TWELVE METRES! And can live between 150 and 175 years. That is some new knowledge for me. I never expected cacti to live that long. And that expectation is based on literally nothing but lack of knowledge.

Photo of a mountain in Phoenix with saguaro cacti in the foreground.
The majestic Camelback Mountain can be seen in the background of this patch of saguaro cacti.
Photo of a lot of saguaro cacti

There is an absolute stunner of a saguaro at Phoenix’s Desert Botanical Gardens with a mutation creating a crest at the top of the cactus. It’s incredibly rare. There’s no consensus on why this happens. Some say it’s a genetic mutation, while others cite it’s caused by a lightning strike. All I know is it’s beautiful thing.

Photo of a crested saguaro catcus.
Crested saguaro cactus at the Desert Botanical Gardens.

Unfortunately, saguaro are collapsing right now. Contrary to what you think about cacti, the incredibly hot and long summer combined with the lack of any real monsoon is taking its toll on the saguaro. They’re keeling over and dying. And that brings a tear to this new saguaro fanatic.

P.S. I’ve started selling some of my prints right here. There’s a small selection up right now, so if there are any images you’ve seen you’d like a print of, drop me a line and I’ll add it to the store!

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