Can a saguaro be famous?

If so, the Michelin Man is.

For a famous thing, a desert icon, the Michelin Man isn’t easy to find. Cave Creek Regional Park is barely on the map, and the guy at the nature center has to give a lot of hints about how to get to it. Turn off the main trail at a certain memorial bench.

When you get there, the guy does have a lot of character.

On the other hand, who wants to be famous when you can be anonymous? So much of the desert’s beauty lies in its sameness. One teddy bear cholla looks pretty much like the next.

Except when you see its tiny offspring rooting themselves nearby. That’s a little different.

A field of anonymous chollas, all pretty much the same, can be magnificent. Did dinosaurs range here?

So prehistoric looking. Do we really need to see another saguaro? They’re all the same.

Well. Yes. We do. Ocotillo in winter, bare and alone. There will be raucous red bracts later, but not now.

Another cholla, vicious.

A rock. Just an ordinary rock in the sun. Nothing special.

A scrap of grass stands out only because it’s rained some here recently and that’s unusual.

Sometimes you get a sense of nurture. Almost. Nestling.

Sometimes one specimen sticks out – kinda funny, somehow.

But that of course is anthropomorphizing. The landscape that stretches on either side of Slate is barren. Only the most intrepid seek it out.

A good place to hike or ride that is un-famous, in the middle of nowhere.

Silly humans traffic the road nearby.

But not here. It’s beautiful desolation. Green trees in washes.

One solemn vista after the other.

The quiet and peace of the nameless.


Filed under Jean Zimmerman

2 responses to “Can a saguaro be famous?

  1. Anonymous

    The green trees are palo verdes.

  2. Anonymous

    You can make tea out of ocotillo blossoms. They taste like rose hips. However you have to be pretty tall to harvest them. You can also put them in salads. The Ocotillo is called many different names including Candlewood, Slimwood, Coachwhip, Vine Cactus, Flaming Sword and Jacob’s Staff. -pcz

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