3.16.2010

a saguaro...

Did you know the Saguaro Blossom is the state flower of Arizona?  The Saguaro cactus is amazing.  It is only native to Arizona, Mexico and a very small portion of California.  I feel lucky to be surrounded by these majestic desert trees.  If you have never seen one in person, you might not appreciate their grandeur or know of their importance to our desert wildlife.

This amazing specimen is across the street from my home. 



See how many homes this Saguaro has provided.  Countless birds have found sanctuary in just this one cactus. They carved their shelters in her trunk.  This Saguaro is covered in scars and yet she continues to grow.  Let's look a little closer...
 



Sometimes, I feel a little like the Saguaro.  I have far too many scars from far too many surgeries.  The very word "scar" seems so ugly - but really - a scar can be a badge of survival.  Proof that you can heal.  You can even thrive, regardless of what obstacles you and your body have had to overcome.  Those holes aren't the only homes this one Saguaro has provided, look what is on the other side...It's a nest.

 
Look at that thing!  I think of the momma bird building that nest.  All those different materials she hunted for and carried back to this place, carefully placing them between the prickly arms to make sure her babies would be safe.  Motherhood can certainly teach us how to be resourceful.  To find our strength.  This bird did not give up, it couldn't have been easy to make that home for her eggs.  Beautiful.

This particular Saguaro seems to be on her last leg.  She is fading.  Even then, when she is nothing but the brown spines, she will support life in the desert.  Evidenced by this Saguaro I found a bit further down the road from my home.  These long, tall, woodlike sticks are what's left of what was once a mighty Saguaro.  See what's inside the spine?
 
 
Another nest.  Amazing no?

7 comments:

Maria said...

How awesome are these photos?! And you are right - scars are really just life's badges that show you, if no one else, what you are really made of, how strong you are. They remind you of the tests you have already past and whisper to you encouragement for the ones yet to come.
Thanks J, I needed this on this particular morning!

kroney said...

Yes amazing!

Beatnheart said...

I loved this post Jeanette. It showed how things in nature do carry on.. They are not dead persay but show how even in "death" it continues to nourish and give life. Amazing photojournalism.. I like your direction.

Andrew H. said...

Here's a little factoid. Birds make their nests in Saguaros because it can be up to 20 degrees cooler inside the Saguaro in summer and up to 20 degrees warmer inside the Saguaro in winter. Smart little birds, aren't they!

Maia said...

It's funny, but I have only come to appreciate saguaros since I moved home recently. I blame all the hiking I've been doing...it's amazing to see how each and every one tells a little story about themselves. The amount of water they've gotten over the years, the homes they are providing for birdies (cactus wren - state bird, right?) and so on. My mom planted about 50 saguaro seeds when we first moved into our house, and only 5 have made it 14 years later, but they're less than a foot tall. Quite the amazingly stubborn plant!

MJM said...

I agree with all the previous comments. Beautiful photos Momma, and quite the industrious little birdies. Also, I guess I never appreciated what an iconic image the saguaro is either, until I moved away and it's the one thing people associate with the southwest.

sunshine said...

Great pics again! Saguaros are so stately! That's an interesting fact about the temperature inside the cactus. I believe cactii are protected by the state, I like that.