Saturday, April 1, 2017

Another One Bites The Dust

OK, technically it bit the gravel and concrete. We've been watching and waiting for it. It couldn't possibly last, and it didn't.

Backing up a few weeks ago, there was a big saguaro cactus a couple suburbs over that made the news when it fell over onto a pickup truck, and once finally removed, left the truck in a very sharp "V" shape. Estimates at the time, per the news, were that the saguaro weighed in at 10,000 pounds. (Who do you suppose weighed it?)  Those puppies do hold a lot of water, and we'd just had three decent rains, each about 2 weeks apart. They told reporters that they didn't want to spend the $2,000 removal cost and just let it stand. Until it didn't.

This story resonated particularly with us because we almost daily pass a corner where another huge, very multiply branched saguaro was visibly dying. We blame the rabbits, of course, for nibbling the juicy green bottom away. At first only the bottom foot or so showed  through to the skeleton all around. That has been climbing higher and higher as time progressed, say, over the last year or so. Each time it got windy we'd pay particular attention to whether it was still vertical. Since it's exactly at the corner of a 4-way stop, there was plenty of time to observe it safely. Plus, if you're prone to worrying, to wonder whether it would fall just when Steve was scootering to the Community Center. That's exactly his path.

The last couple of days, wind warnings were out, though mainly either north or south of the valley. Still, we wondered. Today, on my way home from errands when  my path took me past that corner rather than a different way, I noticed that the inevitable had happened. Six feet of dead trunk no longer was able to support the monster top. It currently is laying not only completely blocking the sidewalk but also the entire width of the driveway for the house, blocking the exit of the car currently safely sitting tucked up under the carport.

I hope they're not in a hurry to go anywhere. And maybe have a couple grand sitting around.

I wonder, with all the regulations concerning saguaros, whether someone will be required to plant the individual arms to try rooting them and produce some benefit out of the tragedy. Or if somebody will try just for the profit in it.

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Ummm, on second look, backed by photos, the arms look a little too split and crunched to be viable.

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