Sonoran Scenery Series ~ 6 ~ by Kimberly Chadwick

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Cover image for the "The Scenic Southwest ":http://www.redbubble.com/people/dixiesdigitals/... Calendar

Taken in Marana, Az with a Canon Powershot SX10IS


Identifying Features
The saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) is one of the defining plants of the Sonoran Desert. These plants are large, tree-like columnar cacti that develop branches (or arms) as they age, although some never grow arms. These arms generally bend upward and can number over 25. Saguaros are covered with protective spines, white flowers in the late spring, and red fruit in summer.

Habitat
Saguaros are found exclusively in the Sonoran Desert. The most important factors for growth are water and temperature. If the elevation is too high, the cold weather and frost can kill the saguaro. Although the the Sonoran Desert experiences both winter and summer rains, it is thought that the Saguaro obtains most of its moisture during the summer rainy season.

Range
You find this cactus in southern Arizona and western Sonora, Mexico. At the northern portion of their range they are more plentiful on the warmer south facing slopes. A few stray plants can also be found in southeast California.

Wild Status
The saguaro is not currently listed as threatened or endangered. Arizona has strict regulations about the harvesting, collection or destruction of this species.
Life Span

With the right growing conditions, it is estimated that saguaros can live to be as much as 150-200 years old.

Size
Saguaro are very slow growing cactus. A 10 year old plant might only be 1.5 inches tall. Saguaro can grow to be between 40-60 feet tall (12-18m). When rain is plentiful and the saguaro is fully hydrated it can weigh between 3200-4800 pounds.

Extra Fun-facts
?The saguaro is the largest cactus in the United States.
?Most of the saguaros roots are only 4-6 inches deep and radiate out as far from the plant as it is tall. There is one deep root, or tap root that extends down into the ground more than 2 feet.
?After the saguaro dies its woody ribs can be used to build roofs, fences, and parts of furniture. The holes that birds nested in or “saguaro boots” can be found among the dead saguaros. Native Americans used these as water containers long before the canteen was available.

RESOURCE from "Plant Fact Sheet: Saguaro Cactus ":http://www.desertmuseum.org/kids/oz/long-fact-s...

Tags

arizona, cactus, desert, landscape, marana, mountains, scenery, scenic, kimberly chadwick, nature

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My images are not photo shopped. They have only been adjusted with basic sharpening, contrasting & saturation techniques. I believe that in order to appreciate Nature, you have to capture it as it is, naturally.

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Comments

  • Edyta Magdalena Pelc
    Edyta Magdalen...over 4 years ago

    lovely capture,love the sky!awesome clouds!

  • Thank you so much Edyta!

    – Kimberly Chadwick

  • mrcoradour
    mrcoradourover 4 years ago
    Great senic shot Kinberly, love all the space.
  • Diffidently a lot of space out here..lol ~ Thank you for stopping by Malcolm!

    – Kimberly Chadwick

  • Judy Grant
    Judy Grantover 4 years ago

    Beautiful !!! Love the clouds !!!!!!!!!! I did not make it to see the babes :(

  • I plan on going this morning 3-25-10, so I will fill you in on hte progress darlin! Thank you !

    – Kimberly Chadwick

  • Trish Meyer
    Trish Meyerover 4 years ago

    The Saguaro is so distinctive! Nicely captured scene and great information, thanks.

  • No, thank you Trish, your feedback is important to me so thank you Ma’am!

    – Kimberly Chadwick

  • Ann Warrenton
    Ann Warrentonover 4 years ago

    June 15,2010

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