I learned recently, in Saguaro National Park (in SE Arizona), that saguaro cactus first bloom between 35 and 85 years of age and average first flowering in the park is 55 years.
The blooms open during the wee hours of night and are done by mid afternoon, allowing a wide range of pollinators from nocturnal bats and moths to diurnal insects and birds.
These images are thus the blooming of quintessential plant elders with a good number of decades of stoic serenity, standing sentinel in the Sonoran desert.
I noticed a musky, warm wax crayon (remember the smell of a new pack of crayons? Mmmmm…) kinda scent on the air at 9am on my walk in the desert.
Was that saguaro musk?
The flowers were all way too high for me to get up close with my nose.
A gratuitous picture of a yellow opuntia flower with pollinating African bee just to affirm my opuntia love is still strong.