Alan captured this saguaro scene on a backyard hike in Tucson. That’s right, the outer reaches of Saguaro National Park West are about a 10-minute walk from our front door. Until our move to Tucson, I didn’t appreciate these stately giants. In fact, I didn’t like them at all. But after living in the Old Pueblo for 11 years, I’ve come to admire the long-lived saguaro. Did you know that it takes 75 years for this cactus to grow a side arm? Huge white blossoms sprout from the saguaro in May, and the Tohono Odham people have many uses for the ruby red fruit that ripens in June. Although we humans may consider the thorns unfriendly, the sharp spines aren’t a hindrance to birds and other wildlife that find safety in the arms of the saguaro (or in the holes that the Gila Woodpecker drills).