Thursday, February 27, 2020

It's All About the Cactus

Gumby is a green clay humanoid character created and modeled by Art Clokey in the early 1950's. He also created Davy and Goliath. Gumby has been the subject of a 233 episode series of American television as well as a feature-length film and other media. Since the original series' run, he has become well known as influential cultural icon, spawning many tributes and parodies, including a video game and toys.
Gumby was a favorite toy that could be pulled, punched, stretched and twisted.

I couldn't help but think of this icon as we walked the trails of Saguaro National Park. These cacti seem to take on different personalities with a variety of shapes. Saguaro National Park is part of the Tucson area. The Saguaro can live more than 200 years attaining heights of 40-60 feet high. It grows only in southern Arizona, in California along the Colorado River and in northern Mexico state of Sonora. 

In the background of this photo above are hundreds of cacti dotting the landscape and up the mountain. They appear to be standing at attention like sentinel guards. 
It can take 10 years for a saguaro cactus to reach 1 inch in height. By 70 years of age, a saguaro cactus can reach 6 and a half feet tall, and will finally start to produce their first flowers. By 95-100 years in age, a saguaro cactus can reach a height of 15-16 feet, and could start to produce its first arm.
This impressive looking cactus with many arms is in front of the Ritz Carelton Hotel   Marana area Tucson. 
 This is a very rare type of cactus called  Cristate. Occasionally a saguaro will vary from normal growth patterns and develop unique and sometimes grotesque growth patterns. There are 18 parts to this one. I have seen one in downtown Tucson near the Presido. 
and enjoy a poem

author unknown

Thorns are my language.
I announce my existence
with a bleeding touch.

Once these thorns were flowers.
I loathe lovers who betray.
Poets have abandoned the deserts
to go back to the gardens.
Only camels remain here, and merchants,
who trample my blooms to dust.

One thorn for each rare drop of water.
I don’t tempt butterflies,
no bird sings my praise.
I don’t yield to droughts.

I create another beauty
beyond the moonlight,
this side of dreams,
a sharp, piercing,
parallel language.

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