Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

One more

with 33 comments

Saguaros Reflected in Creek 2864A

Click for greater size and clarity.

Okay, so I changed my mind and decided one more saguaro picture wouldn’t hurt, especially one with such a delightfully delineated diagonal. Although the gigantic cacti classified as Carnegiea gigantea can weigh a couple of tons each because of all the water they absorb from intermittent rainfall, I don’t normally think of them living close to a body of water. That shows how much I know, but it’s one reason I was fascinated (not fasciated) by this slopeful of saguaros that I saw reflected in Sabino Creek on October 2, 2014. (Sabino Creek runs through Sabino Canyon in northeast Tucson.)

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 17, 2015 at 5:32 AM

33 Responses

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  1. Saguarotites.

    Wonderful blue sky reflection.

    Steve Gingold

    January 17, 2015 at 5:38 AM

    • By George—or by Steve—you’ve done it: Google turns up not a single hit for saguarotite(s), but is reduced to showing results for saguaro tire(s), like:


      Who knew that there’s a bicycle tire named Saguaro? Maybe in Arizona today someone will be using a pair while cycling past the tires’ namesakes.

      One thing about a desert is that you get a lot of great blue skies.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 17, 2015 at 6:22 AM

      • Maybe you should give this post a subtitle so Google’s crawlers will find you. Of course, some other knucklehead will have to come up with it a second time for the crawlers to search for that.

        Steve Gingold

        January 17, 2015 at 6:33 AM

        • I don’t know how Google does its work. If it indexes the text in comments as well as the text in posts, then you’re set to be discovered when anyone searches for saguarotite(s).

          Steve Schwartzman

          January 17, 2015 at 8:09 AM

    • Saguarotites; perfect description. 😀


      January 17, 2015 at 6:47 AM

      • For the inverted version (see the picture in the comment below) he would have had to say saguaromite, but he probably wouldn’t want to encourage any mite that might live on saguaros.

        Steve Schwartzman

        January 17, 2015 at 8:13 AM

      • 🙂

        Steve Gingold

        January 17, 2015 at 7:35 PM

  2. Fascinating indeed. No wonder the cactus looks so plump. There is a water source nearby.


    January 17, 2015 at 6:45 AM

    • While there were plumped-up saguaros close to the creek, there were equally plump ones away from it, so it’s not clear that the creek contributed much. Sounds like a project for a botany student.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 17, 2015 at 7:00 AM

      • Everyone who’s tried growing cactus knows what happens if one gets too much water. It rots, and pretty quickly. Even though these are close enough to the water to provide a reflection, that rocky-looking slope clearly provides good drainage, allowing them to thrive. In a previous post, you mentioned these beauties have only a single taproot. The rest of the root system is a shallow webbing that extends from the base of the plant. I suspect any saguaro that tried to tap into this creek would go all squishy and die.


        January 17, 2015 at 7:47 AM

        • I’ve not tried to grow any cacti, but I’ve read (and you confirm) that watering too much can kill them, which isn’t surprising in light of the fact that they evolved to deal with drought.

          My battery chargers have circuits that shut off when they sense that a battery has reached its maximum charge. I wonder if a saguaro root that happened to reach a permanent source of water would similarly stop absorbing once the cactus as a whole had taken in all that it could deal with. Once again, a project for some budding botanists.

          Steve Schwartzman

          January 17, 2015 at 9:23 AM

          • I believe once they have reached saturation point they then form that rarest of all phenomena…the Saguaro Fountain.

            Steve Gingold

            January 17, 2015 at 10:32 AM

            • Now that would be a site: a saguaro spouting water from its top.

              Steve Schwartzman

              January 17, 2015 at 4:41 PM

              • Actually, I was thinking of water coming from all the areoles (I may be mistaken about the term for the sites with the spines) along all the branches.

                Steve Gingold

                January 17, 2015 at 7:41 PM

                • Ah, I misconstrued. You didn’t misconstrue areole, which is the right word. Water spouting out of all the areoles would be quite a sight indeed.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  January 17, 2015 at 8:09 PM

  3. Must admit for a minute or two I thought you had posted this picture upside down 😉


    January 17, 2015 at 6:45 AM

    • I’ve looked at it upside down, and I even thought of posting that version in addition to this one. Here’s what it looks like (click it to enlarge it):

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 17, 2015 at 7:04 AM

      • Thanks!


        January 17, 2015 at 7:17 AM

        • Steve Schwartzman

          January 17, 2015 at 7:54 AM

          • How did you do that?? On my computer I can only seem to find one script, no special characters, and I certainly can’t get it to give me upside -down letters! Clearly I missed that class….

            This photo threw me at first too. I couldn’t imagine you goofing and putting it in upside-down, but…then I noticed the squiggles. Ah-hah! Lovely. You truly have a talent for turning things on their head. 🙂


            January 17, 2015 at 9:34 AM

            • The way I did it was to use Photoshop and type “You’re welcome,” then collapse the editable text into a picture of the text, rotate it 180°, and save it in that form.

              Those squiggles are the giveaway that you’re seeing a reflection in water.

              Steve Schwartzman

              January 17, 2015 at 1:49 PM

              • Yes, exactly. As soon as I noticed the squiggles I realized what I was seeing. You’re right, the strong diagonal is striking.

                I could probably do something similar in iPhoto. I’ll have to go play with that. Thanks!


                January 18, 2015 at 9:54 AM

            • As for turning things on their head, some might say it seems I got dropped on my head at some point, and that accounts for a lot.

              Steve Schwartzman

              January 17, 2015 at 4:40 PM

      • I thought it looked upside down too! I’m glad you showed the true “upside down one”. It’s really tough trying to figure out where the cactus are beginning and ending.

        I also liked the “you’re welcome” reply. Someone had fun on their computer!



        January 17, 2015 at 2:38 PM

        • Someone had fun indeed, Nancy. You might also say I was getting a different perspective on the matter.

          Steve Schwartzman

          January 17, 2015 at 4:37 PM

  4. Or should that be cacti?


    January 17, 2015 at 6:47 AM

    • I think it’s undeniable that cactus
      Has the singular ability to attract us.
      But cacti adds a plural dimension
      And shows you know your Latin declension.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 17, 2015 at 7:14 AM

      • Hmmm…..I guess it does, but I rather like the sound of cactuses. It has a solidity about it which suits the cactus. Cacti, the word, seems far too flighty and insubstantial.


        January 18, 2015 at 12:37 AM

        • I suppose it’s the extra syllable of cactuses that makes that version of the plural seem more substantial than cacti.

          Steve Schwartzman

          January 18, 2015 at 4:02 AM

  5. So glad you didn’t stop at fasciation with this fascinating series. This one’s a beauty. And you’re right, per your witty ditty, “I think it’s undeniable that cactus/Has the singular ability to attract us” . . . though probably not wise to show it by giving one of those spiny columns a hug!

    Susan Scheid

    January 17, 2015 at 11:12 AM

    • All I can say is I think it’s a pity
      I didn’t think first of your “witty ditty. ”

      Being a tree hugger is one thing, but hugging a cactus is quite another.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 17, 2015 at 1:58 PM

  6. ohhhh wow !!


    January 17, 2015 at 1:59 PM

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