The Saguaro (pronounced sah-wah-roh) is the familiar symbol of the Southwest. A native of the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, its blossom is the state flower of Arizona. The Saguaro is an impressive specimen, growing as tall as 45 feet, but it takes a long time to reach that height. The cactus may live for more than 150 years. Because of its slow growth, it is protected by the state of Arizona: it is illegal to cut one down, and developers must transplant any that have to be moved during building projects.
The saguaro also has natural pests--rabbits like to chew holes near the bottom of the cactus, sometimes causing irreparable damage to the plant. In the photo you'll also notice holes near the top of the cactus, which are quite common. The Gila Woodpecker, the Gilded Flicker, and other birds dig these holes for their nests and then abandon them each year, leaving the holes for other occupants, such as owls and snakes.
I took this photo last January at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix, while visiting my daughter. Next Wednesday I am leaving for another visit with her in Phoenix, and I'm planning to take an afternoon to visit these gardens again. For a country girl used to tall oaks, green grass, and cornfields, the plant life and landscape of Arizona is a fascinating departure.
I do plan to post next Wednesday, however; I have a special guest who will provide his unique perspective on the letter T, so I hope you'll drop by then. To see other ABC posts please visit Mrs. Nesbitt or the ABC Anthology.
Since tomorrow is Thanksgiving, another great S word would be Stuffing or even Sweet Potato Casserole. But of course I don't have pictures of either of them because they won't be made until tomorrow morning. Today is the day for advance prep--salads, desserts, and anything else that can be made ahead. But tomorrow morning the cooking begins in earnest, including the centerpiece of our meal, the turkey. While I do almost all the cooking and baking myself, Husband is in charge of the turkey. Yes, Mr. I-Don't-Cook likes to make his one specialty--deep-fried turkey! For anyone who thinks this sounds strange, trust me, it produces a very moist, delicious meat, especially after soaking overnight in a citrus brine ala Martha Stewart.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It's the perfect day to spend precious time with family. There's no stress involved with buying presents or decorating the whole house. It's a day to relax and give thanks for all the blessings you have been given.
Whether you are spending the holiday with family or friends or with one special person, I wish you all a very . . .