Monday, January 5, 2015

In The Common Things of Life...

"The art of being happy 
lies in the power of 
extracting happiness 
from common things."
- Henry Ward Beecher

When we awoke the morning of January 1 there was a light dusting of snow everywhere. We dressed and went out into the white world enjoying the novelty. Of course, as the day warmed it all melted away and I particularly enjoyed the little drops of water on the back of the patio chairs. 

Three puzzles took shape on our table this past week... well ten days... Sherwin spent hours doing these with only a few minutes of help from me, but the pictures unfolding gave both of us a lot of delight.

When today promised to be gloriously sunny we set off for a hike to Saguaro National Park where we are getting to be regulars, enjoying a forest of Saguaros.

We stopped at the Park information/gift shop and asked about the crested Saguaros in the park, location and numbers, etc.

The Park managers pointed us to a couple trails on the map where they knew of these extraordinary mutations of Saguaros. Son Shelby had told us that he had read that there were at least 25/26 of these plants in the Park so we were on the hunt.

By taking Cactus Forest trail south towards the Lime Kilns we were assured we would see one.

I kept my eyes peeled for a curly top and just as they said, on the west side of Observation Hill, there stood an excellent specimen. Very lovely. We circled it and photographed it from every angle.

There is just something so enchanting about these rare tops.

We decided to continue south until we would see the Kilns and see what other treasures we could find along the trail. I saw some beauties off to one side and left the trail to get a better look.

I looked carefully around, always on the look out for uneven ground or wildlife I do not want to surprise. As I cast about I noticed an odd formation through some brush and called to Sherwin to join me... 

And sure enough. I had found another crested Saguaro tucked in a small depression in the desert with lots of brush shielding it from the trail about 100 feet away. I was delighted!

Often these plants are tall enough to see from some distance... not this one. What a find!

And what a glorious top to my find! For those not excited about cactus I am sure this may be rather ho-hum but for the rest of us this was a piece of pure delght.

There was another crested that I wanted to shoot yet, one that we had seen along the road on the way down to the Javalina Picnic Area.

So now I have 4 crested Saguaros marked on my map of the east side of Saguaro National Park.

On my way to town next time I will head down Freeman and shoot the other one I have seen inside park boundaries. And we just have another 20-22 more to find. There are only 91,000 + acres to search!

And so our first week in the new year has passed with us quietly enjoying the common things.
Make each day count.
Notice the common things around you.
And above all, be well.


  1. snow in AZ? you guys are colder than us! ha..

    nice crested Saguaro Ma! can't wait to see your map.

    1. Thanks, Shelby... today we are up in the 70s so the cold was only temporary. It may easily return.

      The Saguaros are grand, aren't they?