Saguaro National Park

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A journey to the southwest desert of Saguaro National Park

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Saguaro National Park:

Saguaro National Park by Sequoia Elisabeth Carpenter

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The buildings seen in the distance on this slide and previous slide are, Old Tucson Studios a movie studio and theme park just west of Tucson, Arizona, adjacent to the Tucson Mountains and close to the western portion of Saguaro National Park. Built in 1939 for the movie Arizona , it has been used for the filming of several movies and television westerns since then, such as Little House on the Prairie . Opened to the public in 1960, historical tours are offered about the movies filmed there, along with live cast entertainment featuring stunt shows and shootouts.

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The previous slides where taken from Gates pass and in SNP West. The following pictures are from SNP East

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Look closely, The next two slides zoom in on the base of this Cholla . Look for a Mammilaria sp.

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Look closely, The next slide zooms in on the base of this Cholla . It is common for desert plants to share in resources and get protection from those who are larger/stronger.

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Mammilaria grahamii or Graham's nipple cactus, Graham pincushion cactus

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This Saguaro has out lived its mother plant. The saguaro only grows a few inches per year. The ribs allow expansion for the storage of water.

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The author/photographer in her favorite landscape

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Mammilaria grahamii or Graham's nipple cactus, Graham pincushion cactus, (Spanish: cabeza de viejo , choyita )

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Cylindropuntia bigelovii or Teddy Bear Cholla

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Carnegiea gigantea or Saguaro, giant cactus, (Spanish: sahuaro , saguaro)

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Cactus wren sings a mating call a top a Giant Saguaro

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Cactus wren tends to the nest

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Round-tailed Ground Squirrel  ( Spermophilus tereticaudus )

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Larrea tridentata creosote bush, creosotebush , Creosote, (Spanish: hediondilla , gobernadora , guamis )

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Creosote has a very distinctive odor, esp. after a rainfall, which screams desert!

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Ferocactus wislizeni candy barrel cactus , compass barrel cactus, Arizona barrel cactus, fishhook barrel cactus, Fishhook Barrel, (Spanish: biznaga de agua , viznaga hembra )

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When the crown is damaged, multiple “heads” can produce a medusa effect. This is a survival method for many plants, esp. cacti.

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Ferocactus wislizeni candy barrel cactus, compass barrel cactus, Arizona barrel cactus, fishhook barrel cactus, Fishhook Barrel, (Spanish: biznaga de agua , viznaga hembra ) This is a mature specimen of quite some age, growing only inches per year.

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Ferocactus wislizeni This is a younger specimen due to its size.

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Echinocereus fendleri var. fasciculatus pinkflower hedgehog cactus

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Rincon Mountains in the Distance, looking east.

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Gila woodpeckers are the main bird to make holes in the saguaro for their nests. Other birds and animals then nest in abandoned nests, as seen in previous slides. This scenic looks east to the Rincons , showing the foothill terrain common in this area.

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Overlook with the Santa Catalina Mtns in the distance to the left (North of Tucson).

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This picture shows the typical desert mountain wash or run off for water. Streams usually only have water for short periods of time and are prone to flash flooding.

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Another northern view of desert, with Santa Catalina’s in distance. Due to a recent rain, wildflowers are showing their color.

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Looking west toward the city, Tucson Mountains in the distance.

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Panorama of rock outcrop with Santa Catalina’s in the distance

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Baby Saguaros in the protection of Nurse Plants or Mother plants. Any shade is good shade in the desert!

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Cholla skeleton in the shape of the cross. Also looks like a stick man. Make of it what you will. Art is the intention of this photo.

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Nature’s designer, this close up of a cholla skeleton shows the intricate inner patterns that emerge.

THE END:

THE END Thank you for viewing this trip to Saguaro National Park with me. I hope you come away with a sense of the diversity and abundance this “desert” offers. Resource: http :// www.nps.gov/sagu/index.htm http://swbiodiversity.org/seinet/ident/key.php ? http://eol.org / ( Encyclopeida of Life)

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