Thursday, February 19, 2015

Wallet Card Goes On A Nature Walk

I am surprised it took me this long to realize I didn’t have a picture of my Wallet Card Shaq with a Saguaro cactus.

Arizona is the only state where the Saguaro cactus grows naturally, they also grow naturally in Northern Mexico and a small section of California has a collection of replanted Saguaros, so they have become an unofficial symbol of that state and an icon of the Southwest desert.

There is such a connection with the cactus in the state that the State Flower is the Saguaro Cactus Blossom and the State Bird, Cactus Wren, calls the Saguaro home. In the past the Native Americans in the area would pick the fruit for food, they would collect water from them and even after one died it was utilized because the ribs from a dead Saguaro were used to make tools and shelter.

These cacti are in my neighborhood and are placed along a watershed. The needles can grow up to 3 inches so Wallet Card Shaq fit in their nicely with the needles holding him in securely while I took the pictures. Here are a couple of pictures so you can get an idea of how big a Saguaro can get. This specific Saguaro is about 10-12 feet tall and isn’t even the tallest one in the area. They can grow to around 75-80 feet and are assumed to live up to 200 years, though there may be some older. They actually do not even grow their first arm until they hit 75 years so when you see one beginning to grow an arm you know that your parents or grandparents would have been infants when the cactus began growing.

The larger holes that you see are animal burrows or bird nests and the smaller holes are where animals or birds were eating the flesh.


  1. Very cool. I loved checking out all the cacti when I would visit family friends in Tucson as a kid.