Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Saguaro slant

with 11 comments


In today’s picture it’s not the saguaro cacti (Carnegiea gigantea) themselves that slant, but the land on which they grow in Tucson Mountain Park. After yesterday’s close-up of a giant saguaro, I felt you should have an overview showing a dense colony of these giant plants. Back on November 7th I thought this was a good way to begin my photo-taking day.

If you’re interested in the craft of photography, you’ll find that point 18 in About My Techniques applies to this image.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 22, 2016 at 5:09 AM

11 Responses

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  1. This is quite a healthy stand. I like how the diagonal drew me to the raised arms of the saguaro in the foreground. I would like to see saguaro in bloom some day. Their waxy flowers draw a myriad of bats, birds, and insects.


    December 22, 2016 at 7:47 AM

    • I’d like to see saguaro flowers in person as well. Both of my trips to Arizona have been in the fall, so I’d have to go back in the spring. It’d be worth it.

      The diagonal worked well here, as you pointed out.

      I was struck by the similarity between your first sentence and Melissa’s in the next comment, which she left around the same time you were leaving yours.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 22, 2016 at 8:07 AM

  2. It is good to see such a healthy stand of the saguaros. They look like prickly soldiers marching down the hill. Maybe that is just my pre-coffee brain talking.


    December 22, 2016 at 7:50 AM

  3. Since I’ve never seen saguaro, I really was surprised by this image. For some reason, I imagined them to be solitary plants: perhaps because so many photographs show them that way. It’s astonishing to me to see so many. I’d love to see them some day, in flower or not.

    I can’t help remembering that great little film called “Tumbleweed!” that suggested tumbleweeds grew under the arms of the saguaro before falling off and rolling away on their journey. The video’s been taken down; I wish I’d saved it while it still was available.


    December 22, 2016 at 10:20 PM

    • It’s quite something to stand before a whole mountainside covered with these giant cacti. Tucson Mountain Park is just one of several places in the area that offer similarly dense stands of saguaros. It’s a straight shot west on Interstate 10 from Houston to Tucson, so I hope you’ll make it there on one of your trips. The prairies in Texas and northward have their charms, of course, but the desert is a different sort of magical world. Just don’t go in the summer.

      I remember my surprise upon learning that the tumbleweed, that icon of the westerns we grew up on, is an alien species that accidentally got transported here from Russia. As for one plant sheltering in another, it’s common to see a saguaro that grew up in the branches of a creosote bush or paloverde tree.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 23, 2016 at 12:26 AM

  4. NICE

    R J S P media

    December 26, 2016 at 7:24 PM

  5. […] about this backlit cholla cactus in Tucson Mountain Park near sundown two years ago […]

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