The Cycle of a Cactus – Part 1

April 10, 2010

by Rick Hartigan

photo by Roni Ziemba


The winter rains are a memory. Fat with their absorbed moisture, the cacti wait. The temperature has begun to rise. Unimpeded by clouds, the desert sun warms the hills and valleys for the coming pageant. The stage is set for the annual flower show.

The icon of the Sonoran Desert, the saguaro cactus, is preparing for its leading role in the production. Standing over ten feet tall, those saguaros mature enough to flower await the signal to produce their buds, blossoms and fruit in the weeks to come. Their tops and arms show no hint of it yet.  But it’s coming. Every spring, like clockwork, the flowers appear. But for the moment, we wait.

Anticipation is the first in a seven-part series following the cycle of one particular Saguaro cactus at the ranch. We will watch the buds form, the flowers bloom and then die. Then comes the fruit and its stages. We hope you enjoy following along!


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