Saguaro National Park Local Customs

  • RED  HILLS  VISITOR  CENTER
    RED HILLS VISITOR CENTER
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    RED HILLS VISITOR CENTER
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  • RESTROOM  IN  THE  MIDDLE  OF  A  DESERT  :-)
    RESTROOM IN THE MIDDLE OF A DESERT...
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Most Recent Local Customs in Saguaro National Park

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    Local pronunciations

    by matcrazy1 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    SAGUARO  CACTI

    In this area there are at least two cultures mixed: Hispanic (Mexican) and Native Americans. No wonder the pronunciation of many words is quite different. The word "saguaro" is pronaunced sah-WAH-row.

    Turn your speakers on and follow the link below :-))

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    Scenic drives for you :-)

    by matcrazy1 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    BAJADA  LOOP  DRIVE

    National Parks in the USA are well prepared for driving visitors. There are scenic drives (paved or sometimes unpaved) with picnic areas, exhibitions, parking lots etc. in most of them, if not at all.

    I drove 9-mile Bajada Loop Drive in eastern part of Saguaro National Park and I found the tallest saguaros there.


    More on scenic drives:
    Scenic Drives

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    "Birds and Bloom" hike

    by mht_in_la Written Apr 18, 2004

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    This ranger-lead program was great fun. I am by no means a naturalist and have no experience in bird watching or flower photography, so I learned a whole lot from this 2.5 hour leisure hike. Most importantly, I learned to slow down my pace and enjoy the nature, which is quite different from the way I used to hike. The lead ranger and all the participants were very knowledgable about the desert and the wildlife.

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    Look at cacti or... buy them

    by matcrazy1 Written Sep 10, 2003

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    CACTI  FOR  YOU :-)))

    Except looking at milions of various species of living cacti, you can buy some of them (smaller ones) in a cacti store. It's located outside the Red Hills Visitor Center in western unit of the park.
    Do you have any cacti at your home? Did they survive?

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    Pickup trucks

    by matcrazy1 Updated Sep 10, 2003

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    IN  FRONT  OF  RED  HILLS  VISITOR  CENTER

    I was a little surprised seeing maybe not very many but quite many large or even very big pickup trucks in Saguaro National Park.

    In Europe (even in warm Mediterranean areas) and even more in Poland they are much less popular at least for the three reasons, I suppose:
    - unreasonable price,
    - weather (snow, rains),
    - they are unpractical (easy to steal unlocked/uncovered loadings).
    And they are supposed to be mainly farmers' vehicles in European warmer countries.

    Why are they so popular there - in city of Tucson, and in the park where off road driving is forbidden and where it never snows?


    VOICE 1 (from the USA):
    Americans generally like everything big because that means power and money. Its probably a cultural thing, because its not usually very practical.
    Since when does someone need a 2300kg vehicle to take kids to school?? LOL

    From my friend CHRIS (Balfor) from Atlanta, Georgia, USA:
    Pick ups are used for more than just farm work. Many Americans do their own home repairs and a pick up is the ideal vehicle for getting supplies home.
    Also, many people use them for gardening so they can bring large amounts of mulch, big plants, etc home.
    Many Americans have trailers or campers, and a truck is better for pulling those than a car is.
    And some people just like the way a truck looks. :-)
    THANK YOU Chris :-).

    From my friend KATHERINE (Callavetta) from San Francisco, California, USA:
    4WD vehicles are another big cultural issue here in the US now. People buy these huge things that are major gas guzzlers and then drive them around the city, never even going off road or in the snow.
    Thank you Katherine.

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    Reproduction

    by matcrazy1 Updated Sep 10, 2003

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    PRICKLY  PEAR  CACTUS  -  FLOWER

    Saguaro reproduction begins during the hottest and driest weeks of the year - late spring and early summer.
    This is when white-winged doves, bees, and bats travel to blossoms, transporting pollen, fertilizing as they go.
    Hmm... quite different than human way of reproduction :-).

    Saguaro fruit usually ripens in late June. Each fruit contain as many as 2,000 seeds. Coyotes, javelinas, foxes, rodents, and many birds feed on these seeds and the fruit's lush, red pulp.

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    Youth

    by matcrazy1 Updated Sep 10, 2003

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    TOO  SMALL  TOO FLOWER ???

    During a walk along any park trail you can discover saguaros in their various stages of life and death. Look for young saguaros growing low to the ground. Those that are about the size of your thumb may be several years of age.
    Saguaros begin flowering after they grow about eight feet tall. That is 2.4 meters. Hmm... don't look for flowers on saguaros lower than you are!

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    Old age

    by matcrazy1 Written Sep 10, 2003

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    ANCIENT  GIANT  SAGUARO

    Tall saguaros with many branching arms can be 175 or 200 years of age! Known as "ancient giants", these cacti eventually die, decay, and drop woody, internal skeletons to the ground.
    The oldest saguaros may weigh more than 7 tons and grow taller than a four-story building.

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    Maturity

    by matcrazy1 Updated Sep 10, 2003

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    MATURE  GIANT  SAGUARO

    When saguaro reach about 75 years of age, they might begin sprouting branches or "arms". Most people die around that age but not saguaros, they start to be the most beautiful at that age :-))).
    To be honest I liked such old saguaros the most. Don't you?

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    How do they survive?

    by matcrazy1 Written Sep 10, 2003

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    SAGUARO  NATIONAL  PARK

    The newborn saguaro is most vulnerable during its first five years of life. Birds eat seeds and seedlings. People step on them. Thousands or maybe even milions of young plants can die because of intense sun and... heavy rains!

    New saguaros survive best under shade of "nurse plants" such as palo verdes and mesquites.

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    Aren't they over-taxed?

    by matcrazy1 Written Sep 8, 2003

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    BY  THE  SONORA  DESERT  MUSEUM

    It seems that there are very many various taxes in Tucson area (Pima County).
    Look, if you want to rent a car at Tucson International Airport you must add to your basic price the following surcharges:
    - Airport Fee,
    - State Sales Tax,
    - Pima County Surcharge,
    - Customer Facility Fee,
    - Vehicle License Tax.
    Hmm... once more: aren't they over-taxed there or maybe they don't like visitors renting cars? He?

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    Bajada? What's that?

    by matcrazy1 Written Sep 8, 2003

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    VIEW  FROM  BAJADA  LOOP  DRIVE

    Bajada (pronunciations: ba-HA-da) is a Spanish word for a descent. A bajada is the sloping, fanshaped area, a geological formation located between the foothills and the valley floor.
    There are many bajadas in Saguaro National Park, well seen when you drive Bajada Loop Drive especially.

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    Traveling with pets

    by matcrazy1 Written Sep 8, 2003

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    IN  FRONT  OF  RED  HILLS  VISITOR  CENTER

    It seems that Americans love to travel with their pets: usually with a dog, but with a cat or... a squirrel for example as well :-).

    Hmm... it's not so easy if you are going to visit Saguaro National Park. Pets must be always leashed. More: pets are forbidden on trails, inside buildings, or in the backcountry. It seems that you can walk your leashed pet only on such walkways as on my picture = around park visitor centers.

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    Warning tables

    by matcrazy1 Written Sep 8, 2003

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    DO  NOT  FEED  COYOTES

    There are a lot of things forbidden in US national parks including Saguaro National Park. They used to put a lot of warning tables on trails and at parking lots, picnic areas etc.

    So, look at my picture and do NOT feed coyotes, please! If you find any hehe.

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    Restrooms in the middle of a desert!

    by matcrazy1 Written Sep 8, 2003

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    RESTROOM  IN  THE  MIDDLE  OF  A  DESERT  :-)

    There are a few dry restrooms (no water) along roads in Saguaro National Park. No water, but they were clean. They used a dark blue fluid which kept it clean and even smelled nice.
    Enlarge my picture to see a dry restroom in the middle of a desert :-).

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