Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Saguaros: The Reigning Royalty of the Sonoran Desert

 June 19, 2024

   I've been infatuated with saguaros most of my life, and my earliest attempts to capture them on paper stretch back beyond the half-century mark.

Early Saguaro Whip Outs:

"Heatwave Highway" 1972

   This was an opening spread in the Razz Revue for my cartoon character, The Doper Roper.

   Meanwhile, I have also been a sucker for photos with saguaros in them, you know, like this.

Babes, Buicks & A Saguaro With Uplifted Arms Seemingly Exclaiming 'Have Mercy!'"

   What's interesting about this photo is those mountains in the background look like California mountains and if so, that saguaro is probably a tad out of their home range (saguaros only grow in Arizona and a small part of northern Mexico). I've heard reports of saguaros on the California side of Lake Havasu, but that is usually considered a fluke and a semi-reasonable stretch. We even had one saguaro at a motel in Kingman (probably transplanted) out on Highway 93, but since we are on the Mojave Desert and not the Sonoran Desert where the vast majority of saguaros dwell, this is another exception to the exception.

Speaking of Exceptions. . .

"A keen observer of Carnegiea gigagantia would find plenty of fake saguaros in western movies. My Darling Clementine, filmed in Monument Valley scattered a few very fake saguaros in a place that really didn’t look like Tombstone. They also appear in Spaghetti Westerns filmed in Almera, Spain. In actuality you live in Saguaro Central. They only grow in Arizona and Sonora (as far south as Navajoa on the road to Alamos) the ones around here an all in bloom and setting fruit."
—Greg Scott

Saguaro Central

   Yes, I do live in "Saguaro Central" and it's hard to look in any direction from my house and not see a forest of magnificent saguaros.

Sunrise On Ratcliff Ridge

   And, I have illustrated said ridge more than a few times. . .

Daily Whip Out:
"Ratcliff Ridge Back In The Day"

(circa 1988 when Ed Ratcliff lived in a trailer)

Daily Whip Out:
"El Pendejo Lands at Opodepe"

   Then, there's also all the cousins and shirttrail relatives to the saguaro.

  A mighty transplanted saguaro, at left, and his bony hillbilly cousin near the wall in our backyard.
   Frankly, I am thinking there is a book in here.

"A winner is just a loser who tried one more time."
—George M. Moore Jr.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post your comments