Tag Archives: cactus

Tu-Na Travels: Ahhh! Springtime in the Desert

 I didn’t have to travel far to find this beautiful blooming cactus. It lives across the street from me.

30a

My life’s been a bit hectic lately. When my husband suggested we take a day and go explore the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix, I jumped at the chance. For you see, I like springtime in the desert.

3a

Three Chihuly glass sculptures greet us as we enter the Desert Botanical Garden. I do like Chihuly, too.

#4. I Like Springtime in the Desert.

I mean—I really like—springtime in the desert. I knew that most of the real showy prickly pear cactus flowers had already come and gone but I was hoping there would be at least a few other blooms that would be open. The garden did not disappoint.

1a

I didn’t think to look at the name of this cactus and have forgotten the names of most of these pictured here. However, it does resemble the Argentine Giant that I posted a pic of earlier in the week and as a featured pic of this post.

8a

There were lots of Saguaro blooms.

 

9a

And a Prickly Pear bloom that was late to the party.

 

16a

I am not sure what’s happening to this Saguaro but it does allow us to get a closer look at the flowers.

 

19a

his crested Saguaro (see my post link below for more info on this phenomenon) is going to bloom but we arrived too early for it’s party. Does anyone know why it is sprouting blooms down the arm? I thought Saguaros were supposed to get buds only around the tops of the arms.

 

5a

I am thankful that these blooms were late to their party. I bet this prickly pear was beautiful when they were all blooming. I saw them last year and it was a beautiful display.

 

20a

22a

The Yuccas were in full bloom.

 

23a

24a

The purple prickly pear looks pretty even without flowers.

 

26a

Look but don’t touch. These flowers had stickers.

 

25a

28a

29a

I hope you enjoyed my blooming tour this week. Speaking of blooming, the final group of Blooming Quilters from the 2017 New Quilt Blogger’s Hop are getting ready for you to stop by next week. I will post their addresses late Sunday night. However, you still have time to enter this week’s giveaways. See my post here for details.

What I Learned Today:

  1. Constructing a post mostly with pictures takes longer than writing one consisting mostly of words.
  2. Going through 300 pictures of blooming cacti takes a long time.
  3. However, choosing only a few of the pics to show here takes a longer time.
  4. Cactus blooms come in all sizes, shapes, and colors—kind of like people.
  5. Some cactus blooms are soft and beautiful and others are beautiful but have stickers—kind of like people.

Question: What season of the year do you like? Now you know my answer, what’s yours?

Linking to LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color for her I Like Thursday party.

Catch my other “I Like” posts here.

#3 Tu-Na Eats: Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice

#2. Tu-Na Quilts: I Like to Shop at Thrift Stores 

#1. Tu-Na Travels: I Like the Saguaro Cactus Discover some interesting facts about the Saguaro and the crested Saguaro.

Tu-Na Travels: I Like The Saguaro Cactus

I am again linking with Not Afraid of Color for I Like Thursday this week. If you missed my first “I Like” post (Shopping at thrift stores) you can find it here. I had planned to link each Thursday but life got in the way. So I’ll leave it as I’ll link as often as I can.

This post may not be surprising to some of you since I live in Arizona in the winter.

2. I like the Saguaro Cactus.

13a

This pic was taken in the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix when Chihuly had his exhibition there. I like Chihuly too but that could be the subject of another post.

I like — I mean I really like —  Saguaros. From the first time I saw a Saguaro (pronounced sah-wah-roh), I was enamored by the way they looked: tall and stately, standing silently, just waiting for something to happen,  just don’t touch since they do have sharp spines, after all. 

      I even like Saguaros on quilts. These two were at the Tucson Quilt Festival that I attended on Feb. 17th, 2017 (post coming soon).

 

14a

The Park is divided into two sections. We prefer the West side as it has more Saguaros. And look, there’s even an outline of a Saguaro. Maybe I like them because this is how they look when I draw them.

The movie at the Saguaro National Park Visitor Center near Tucson says that Saguaros look like people ready to march over the hills. At dusk, if you squint, you can actually see that might be true.

9a

 

I’ve seen many Saguaros. It helps to live in this desert. Phoenix is in the upper part of the Sonoran desert—the wettest desert on earth which gets between 7-10 inches of rainfall each year. Saguaros are only found in the Sonoran desert. Similar looking cactuses (called Cardon) are found in Baja CA, upper Mexico, and a few have been transplanted in the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix. Although they look similar to the Saguaro, they grow much larger.

16a

Sometimes they seem to grow out of the rocks. Their root structure is very shallow with most roots only 3 inches below the surface and one large tap root that goes 1-5 feet down (depending on what source you read).

Saguaros grow slowly. In the desert, it may take 10 years for them to reach an initial height of one inch. If they are lucky and don’t get eaten or trampled, they can reach 45-50 feet tall in their 150-200 year lifespan. 

24a

 

They start forming arms when they are between 50-100 years old. Some don’t get arms at all and some get many. I’ve seen some with arms on arms. You can’t tell the age of a Saguaro by counting its rings like a tree or by the number of arms they have.

 

10a

A Saguaro starts to produce blossoms once it reaches 35 years of age. Each blossom, which opens at night and begins to wither around midday, lasts for only one day. Usually they bloom in late May or early June around here. Last spring they bloomed early and we were able to see the desert ablaze with color before we left for home up north. This one is particularly full of blossoms. The Saguaro blossom is Arizona’s state flower.

The Saguaro has internal ribs made of wood. They can weigh several tons (an adult one can weigh up to 8 tons) after a good rainstorm depending on the source you read. Contrary to what you’ve seen in western movies, you can not save yourself in the desert by eating one to get water.

 

18a

Look at that beautiful sky!

I see Saguaros in yards around my Arizona home and along highways. But my favorite place to see them is out in the wild or in the National Park. I hope you get a chance to see some too.

 

29a

I posted this pic on Dec. 23, 2016 as part of my “I Want to Wish You a Merry Christmas-Arizona Style” series. I posted pics for almost 2 weeks of some really unusual and interesting ways people decorate their yards and cactuses for Christmas. The pics are still here on the blog (if you missed seeing them, go to Archives on the side bar and click on December).

Some of the residents of my village decorate their Saguaros for Christmas. Some Saguaros seem to develop their own decorations.

 

20a

This crested Saguaro was transplanted just outside the entrance to the Desert Museum near Tucson, AZ. See the next pic for a close-up of it.

These crested Saguaros are quite rare. Sources list their ratio as 1 in 200,000. I’ve seen two in captivity: one at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix and one at the Desert Museum near Tucson, and three in the wild: one on the Desert Belle Boat trip around Saguaro Lake, one just outside the Visitor Center at Saguaro National Park, and one took us by complete surprise as we walked along a trail in Colossal Cave Mountain Park near Tucson.

22a

There’s really no definite explanation for why this happens. There’s some speculation that it’s a genetic mutation or from damage caused by insects, bacteria, fungus, frost, or lightning. No matter what the cause, they are an unusual sight to see. This one is sprouting two arms on the top which are new since the last time I saw it.

25a

I am afraid this cactus in my village may not last much longer. It’s being held up by the support rope. We’ve seen many Saguaros in yards trying to be saved but they usually end up being taken down.

 

What I Learned Today:

  1. I want to travel to Organ Pipe National Monument in southern Arizona. The ranger at Saguaro National Park says there are even more Saguaros there as well as lots of Organ Pipe Cacti. Maybe I will like Organ Pipes, too.
  2. Both cactuses and cacti are acceptable when speaking of more than one cactus. However, cacti is the more common plural form. I am relieved as I rarely say anything the common way.
  3. I have difficulty telling the difference between a Cardon or a Saguaro in the Desert Botanical Gardens. It’s a good thing they are labeled.
  4. I’ve always wanted one in my Arizona yard. But with so many of them in my neighborhood falling over, that may never happen. I think they get too much water from irrigation or run-off.
  5. Since I’ve seen 5 crested Saguaros, I guess that means I must have already seen a million Saguaros.
  6. There’s a crested Saguaro in Scottsdale at a Golf Club that I think I’ll go find.
  7. The number of Saguaros in Saguaro National Park have increased since the last census was taken of them. Yes, they count Saguaros.
  8. It is illegal to move a Saguaro off of private or public land without a permit (learned by reading not experience).
  9. I live in a very interesting part of the country.

Question: Have you ever been to a desert or would you like to?

Linking to Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

 

 

 

 

 

Tu-Na Travels: One More for the Road

Some of you may be wondering, what happened to Tu-Na? It’s been about a month since I published a real post. But there have been pictures, lots of warm Arizona Christmas yard decoration pics to prepare us for the Christmas season and then lots of pics of snow from North Dakota to help welcome in the New Year here on the blog since then.

2a

I just have to include a pic of the cactus in our yard. It was a volunteer growing too close to our concrete driveway so my husband transplanted it last spring to this corner of our yard. When we left in May, it was only the size of my thumb.

 

I’ve been very busy with flying to North Dakota to spend Christmas with family and then flying back to Arizona to get away from all that snow. I had to enjoy those beautiful and unique Arizona Christmas yard decoration pics I posted on this blog each day from Dec. 13th-Dec. 25th like many of you did—from afar. We left AZ on Dec. 15th.

5a

When we returned in November, it had grown to this size. Pretty amazing. We have no idea what kind it will be when it’s all grown. It kind of looks like I stuck a cucumber in the ground but I did not. This cactus is a bit flatter on two sides. Our neighbors have cacti but nothing that looks like this. Any ideas? 

 

Christmas was a busy time with holiday preparations, being with family and getting more snow. My husband, myself, and all of our kids and grandkids (16 people total) were all snowed in together for a blizzard on Christmas Day and the following day. And then the digging out began. If you haven’t seen some of that snow and ice, I posted pics here on the blog each day from Dec. 26th to Jan 1.

6a

So here’s one more pic of a cactus all decked out in his little hat for the season. My husband and I are proud as parents of this little guy and wanted to show him off to you.

 

We flew back to Arizona January 1st just in time as the snow was starting to fall again. They received another 10 inches after our take-off making their total snowfall for the season at 52 inches so far. 

Since the first, I’ve been busy touring Arizona showing our German exchange daughter and her boyfriend all the wonderful Arizona sights from the Grand Canyon to Tucson. Once I am rested and caught up with housecleaning and laundry, I’ll be back to posting more regularly including the pictures of my recent Modernitional bear paw quilt finish and the story about our German exchange daughter and how she came to us and why we won’t let her go.

What I Learned Today:

  1. Scheduling posts is really easy now that I learned how to do it.
  2. I enjoyed looking at those sunny Arizona Christmas yard decoration pics as much as you did. I’d forgotten which ones I scheduled so some were a surprise. I had many more pics of decorations that I could have posted but did not.
  3. I need a bit more time to rest and get back into the groove than I did years ago. I guess someone probably calls it aging: I call it relaxing at my pace.
  4. I am way behind in posting. Look for lots of new posts to come.

Question: What are you working on today? I’m sure it’s more interesting than the laundry and housecleaning that I am doing.

Linking to Lorna’s Sew Fresh Quilts for Let’s Bee Social. Button on the sidebar.

Tu-Na Travels: I Want To Wish You A Merry Christmas–Arizona Style #9

37a

This cactus may look soft and fuzzy but still do not touch. If you do, just apply some white liquid school glue, let dry and then peel it away.

Linking to Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts for Let’s Bee Social (button on the sidebar).