Tuesday, 27 March 2012
A Unique Legacy
The Saguaro Cactus stands sentinel over the desert for longer than any of us, often for over 150 years so when one finally reaches the end of it's life it is a sad time indeed. Death is not immediately apparent. Usually a Saguaro will continue to look the same for up to three years as death takes a hold.
One of the Saguaro Cacti in our yard died a couple of years ago and has been slowly returning to the earth from which it grew.
What remains stands as a monument to this magnificent plant with arms raised to salute the setting sun. Often in the evenings we walk up the yard and sit next to the ancient structure and watch the sun dip below the mountains. Amongst the vegetation rubble at the base of the bones of the cacti we spotted something very sought after in the West - cactus boots!
In life the Saguaro plays host to numerous species of birds that gouge out nesting cavities in the cactus' limbs. In order to protect itself the cactus develops a 'boot' inside the cavity which hardens into an amazing and utterly unique structure. As the cactus died away these boots fell to the ground, where we found them. The two shown above are the most common type of shapes found but we found two others that were even more special.
One bowl and one pot! Aren't they amazing?
Whilst I would far rather have the huge Saguaro towering over me, if I have to loose one I am so grateful for these truly unique gifts that it has left behind.
Nature Notes hosted by Michelle at Rambling Woods.