The saguaro is an icon of the southwest, so it’s something of a surprise to many to find that we don’t have any of them here in Albuquerque. They pretty much don’t grow anywhere in New Mexico naturally, requiring careful nurturing – winters too cold, etc. But in Tucson, where I spent several days last week, they’re ubiquitious. And such a stunning plan. Maybe it’s because their outstretched arms give them a human form. Whatever. I really got a kick out of driving up the narrow little road to the USGS lab on Tumamoc Hil, seeing the road lined with saguaro and the amazing green-trunked palo verde, still in spring bloom.

Best of all was my good fortune to be in Tucson at the tail end of an ocotillo bloom. I love the desert.