May 112013

saguaro top in bloom 1728

bouquet of saguaro blossoms 1729

saguaro in bloom 1727

I’ve been saving this theme for Saguaro cactus… this blossom is Arizona’s state flower. The Saguaro cactus is native to the Southwest’s Sonoran Desert which spans from Southern Arizona, Sonora (Mexico), Whipple Mountains (California) and parts of the Imperial Valley (California). There are no wild saguaros anywhere in the western U.S. states of Texas, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, or Nevada, nor in the high deserts of northern Arizona, although it is used for branding or falsely in movies and commercials to convey the Southwest. The Saguaro cactus is one of the reasons we chose to live here.

A saguaro can grow to 75′ tall and live 200 years. A saguaro’s growth is extremely slow. Growth occurs in spurts, with most of it taking place in the summer rainy season each year. By the end of a year, the saguaro seedling may measure only 1/4 inch. After 15 years, the saguaro may be barely a foot tall. At about 30 years saguaro can begin to flower and produce fruits. By 50 years, the saguaro may be as tall as 7 feet. After about 75 years, it may sprout its first branches or “arms.” The branches begin as prickly balls, then extend out and upward.

I never tire of seeing saguaro as they have such personality; like snowflakes, every one is different. Currently the cactus are in bloom in town… but the ones in the desert, not watered by caretakers are slower to have buds or blossoms.   I hope to have a landscape photo of desert cactus in bloom soon.

I’ve taken many photos of these cacti in the past, click here for more.

Jul 032010

ISO 80; f/5; 1/640; 43.4mm; 8:14am (P mode)

ISO 80; f/5.7; 1/500; 100mm; 8:14am (P mode)

While waiting for a bird to show up for the Saguaro Fruit photo… I got a bit distracted with this old part of the Saguro cactus.  In post processing, I worked on detail and hue.

Not so sure why I stayed in P mode while on the ladder… but might have had something to do with my early morning attempts at the sunrise.. which came out in all the wrong colors.  And then later I had a bunch of blurry bird shots.  I guess I was tired of trying and just wanted the photo to come out right.

Time to go back and read the camera book again.

Jul 022010

ISO 80; f/5.6; 1/329; 43.3mm; 8:13am (on ladder, no tripod, P-mode)

I dragged the ladder over to the Saguaro again today… Obviously, this plant is still tall… even with the ladder I am still looking up!  I waited quite a while for a bird to show up… but I guess me being on a ladder wasn’t part of the fine dining experience they had been expecting.

May 302010

ISO 80; f/5; 1/1000; 42.2mm; 2:28pm

It was the normal perfect sunny day and mid-afternoon, worst time to shoot, but I decided to take this photo anyway.  Although I had seen this Saguaro cactus have multiple blooms at once, I had not seen them arranged so close together.  So, I went home for the ladder and camera.

And then forgot about the photos as much attention was diverted to other things…  So when I finally downloaded the photos last night I was amazed that the flowers were not blown out.

I know I didn’t need another Blossom photo…  but I had to share this.

May 262010

I have been working on this project since May 6th, which is one reason why I’m giving it the theme “complex.”  So many of the photos  were not working… I finally decided that the only way to catch the blossom was to drag my ladder over to the nearest Saguaro right after my morning coffee (o.k. light might have been better before coffee but I’m just not that fanatical, yet). I used the ladder first with the “old” camera and then again with the “new” camera.

Saguaro Cactii are actually quite complex even without me trying to photogragh them.

ISO 80; f/4; 1/800 13.7mm 8:54am May 15,2010
Canon SD950IS

Saguaro Cactus in Bloom at Tyson Wells

Continue reading »