Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Saguaros at Sunset






The Saguaro cactus, (pronounced Sawarrow), is a magnificent plant and I can see why photographers travel great distances to capture their unique, unusual and diverse shapes and characteristics.  Each one has its own personality.  They are sacred to the Native Americans who treat them with the same dignity and respect as they would their brothers and sisters.  Indeed, they look very human, especially at twilight when it is easy to imagine them taking on human form.
The Saguaro is a very slow grower, maybe only an inch a year, and they don't start growing 'arms' until they are over 20 years old (according to a park ranger).  They can grow to 50 feet tall, and those with more than 5 arms can be 200 years old.  They have a smooth and waxy skin with ridges of 2 inch spines.  Night blooming white flowers appear in May and June and secret a sweet nectar in its tubes that awaits fertilization by cross pollination with the help of birds, bats and insects.  If fertilized, fruit develops and ripens just before fall and is eaten by all desert creatures and was an important source of food for the early Native Americans.
Photographers can test their composition skills as they view and capture these beautiful plants from unique angles to emphasize their individual character and personality.  I had a wonderful time, but after seeing photos of how beautiful this area is in the spring when this desert comes alive with color, I must go back again! 

17 comments:

Ann Nichols said...

Beautiful and majestic plant!!
This images bring back such lovely memories of when my husband and I, on our honeymoon ages ago, passed through the desert and were treated to miles and miles of these human looking plants all around us.
Thanks Karen... I do like what you see!
Blessings!
Ann

Stacey Dawn said...

Truly golden images...lovely!

Joop Zand said...

Excellent pictures Karen, very nice colors....did you use a pola filter ?

Greetings and a nice day, Joop

Naturedigital said...

Beautiful cactus photographs Karen.
Have a great day.
Costas

Sandra said...

these are amazing to me. so these are like our old oak trees, they live 100's of years and get bigger and bigger. i love the way the sun is painting them. thanks karen, i loved visiting the desert

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

This is amazing beauty.I do hope you get to photograph them in spring.Waiting to see those pictures.
Ruth

justine said...

oh that blue is absolutely fantastic, so strong. Wow this is a very interesting post I didn't know any of that.

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

I was going to ask the very same question Joop did. I've found a polarizing filter works really well in the desert.

SouthernSass said...

I love the blue sky. I would love to visit there!

Lisa RedWillow said...

Fantastic images. I ve never seen the desert like this even when I went last winter. .I love your view.

joey said...

So anxious to return and see photos of your trip, Karen. Hello ... I'm not disappointed ... stunning! Oh, and that blue sky ...

Ginny said...

Really stunning, and I didn't know any of these things, I especially enjoyed the part about when they grow arms.

Judy said...

Hi Karen,

Awesome photos!

Judy

bugnose7 said...

Thanks for the cactus lesson. I have a new appreciation for another of Heavenly Father's creations. I would like you to go back in spring and take pictures also.

WhatKarenSees said...

To Sinbad and an Joop, yes I used a polarizer. I keep one on my camera most of the time and shoot 90% of my outdoor shots using it.

jelly beans said...

nice pics. especially the last one. the sky is so picture perfect blue! greetings from Barcelona.

www.kamjey.com

Avery said...

Just love it! Can't get enough!