About August one summer I experienced something that very few people witness. It happened when we had heavy summer monsoon rains, for about three weeks, which left the soil saturated and soft.
On this particularly windy day I had driven past several large saguaro on my way to the pump station. I love these cacti, and each one is unique. saguaro are prolific at our 3000 foot elevation. Considered the Oak Trees of the desert these unique plants can live 200 years. Called the “hotel of the desert” birds cut nests into the Saguaro and stay cool in the high summer heat. Masters at retaining water, Saguaro’s can easily weigh 10 tons or more.
When I stopped at the pump station I heard a sharp “crack.” This is not a familiar sound in the desert, so I quickly turned to see what made the noise. I saw a Saguaro leaning over at an angle, like it was going to whisper a secret into someone’s eat. When it was at 45 degrees the roots snapped and the Saguaro flattened out, suspended about six feet above the cart path. From there it slammed to the ground with such force that it rebounded three feet into the air, vibrating and splitting into pieces like sliced sausage.
Thrilled to watch such a natural event, I was sad to lose the beautiful Saguaro cactus. And discouraged to learn that I was part of a two-man team to lift, load, and haul away the extremely heavy broken pieces the saguaro self behind.