Blog #3 – Saguaro Nat’l Park

Never in my life have I seen (or been this close to) so many cacti in my life. But, I can say I’ve gotten to experience a different type of breath-taking beauty that hikes in the Blue Ridge or the Rockies couldn’t offer. While our loud footsteps and commentary were probably to blame for scaring away most wildlife, I was still awed by the over-90,000 acre landscape of the toughest, grittiest plant-life I have ever encountered. I have serious respect, and disbelief, of the ability of these plants to survive the desert climate, like the ocotillo which flowers with or without rain to ensure pollination of the desert every year. What stood out to me most was the characteristics of the flowers, mainly their waxy, plastic-like petals and how most bloomed when the plant shed most of its greenness. We were fortunate enough to explore the park trails during the “yellow season” of the desert. While the up-close view was spectacular, I hope to return in the future (probably in a cooler month and without tendonitis) to make it to the top of a ridge and look out over the whole park the surrounding area of Tucson below.

2 Replies to “Blog #3 – Saguaro Nat’l Park”

  1. I felt the same way, having experienced the Black hills and Blue Ridge this type of landscape was strikingly different and breathtaking. I couldn’t imagine how there was such a diversity and breadth of plants and wildlife in such a dry place. One of the cactus I stopped to look at seemed as if it’s needles were almost zip ties! The adaptations and difference between fauna here and in Lexington is amazing. Especially when climbing the cliffs after the hike, there was a view that reminded me of things I’d only seen in movies. The desert is a beautiful, unforgiving place.

  2. The flora and fauna of the Sonora Desert has struck me as well on this trip. In addition to the resilience of it as you mention, the shear abundance of plant and animal life blew me away. Maybe that’s just because we are in the “yellow season,” but to be honest, I wasn’t expecting so much life to be present in what I expected to be a desert.

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