January 04, 2014

Leaving Tucson ~ and the saguaro cactus

The saguaro cactus is an amazing life form. The one here is probably almost 100 years of age, perhaps more. It stands 10 metres and is actually displaying a different type of arm growth: that of a crested fan shape.

The fantail saguaro is an example of fasciation, which can be caused by hormonal imbalances, random genetic mutation, or some kind of bacterial phytopathogen. The fantail saguaro isn't all that common, so it was interesting to see this one on one of our walks near our cottage on the outskirts of Tucson.

Tucson was an interesting city, rather sprawling, and the downtown is beginning to see the early stages of a much needed revitalisation. The city is devoted to the automobile. We were fortunate to be outside the city itself and near the eastern half of the Saguaro National Park.

At night we heard the coyotes howling as though they were right outside our door, and they probably were at that. I wasn't going outside to find out.

This is not a coyote. A guard dog perhaps but not a coyote. Nor is it any other wild creature from the desert. It's a wonderful Corgi pup watching me from the main house at Serenity Guest House.

Photos by Jim Murray.
Copyright 2014.

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