Crested Saguaro Society
Crest Quest Reports
March 5, 2022 — Tucson Botanical Gardens and Pinal County
Report by Joe Orman
But at my back I always hear
Time's winged chariot hurrying near.
— Andrew Marvell
After having it on my bucket list for years, I finally visited the Tucson Botanical Gardens with my daughter Heather, hoping that at least one of its two crested saguaros were still standing. But once again, I had let too much time pass and both crested saguaros were gone.
I knew we wouldn't find this one -- the crest reportedly broke off way back in 2008. Here's Bob and Pat's 2006 photo:
I held out hope for this one, but it too was gone. Here's Bob and Pat's 2005 photo:
While the gardens no longer have any crested saguaros, we did find a few crested specimens of smaller cactuses. Crested boxing glove cholla cactus:
Crested blue myrtle (whortleberry) cactus (Myrtillocactus geometrizans):
Crested bunny ears prickly pear cactus:
Along the garden paths, I found several additions to my Bizarre Backroads web page. At the entrance to the Nuestro Jardin (barrio garden) I found a Roadside Shrine:
And I found a scary Dinosaur:
... and a model railroad that looped through a Tiny Town:
On the way home, Heather and I detoured onto a dirt road in remote Pinal County, and passed by this crested saguaro I'd previously documented:
My 2020 photos:
Our goal was to check up on a crested saguaro that Bob and Pat had documented back in 2006 ... after a short hike jsut before sunset we found the saguaro alive but the crest slightly rotted:
As we drove home, I pondered the inevitable passage of time, and how it hurries ever faster. One can look back in regret to what is now gone, but there is always new growth and new adventures ... best to keep looking forward!
Revised: November 17, 2022