Dean M. Chriss
Saguaro Sunset, Saguaro National Park, Arizona
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Welcome winter cloud cover created great color as the sun set behind this saguaro cactus in Saguaro National Park, Arizona. These gigantic cacti have a life span of about 150 years. They can reach 50 feet in height and weigh more than ten tons. Many desert animals depend on the sweet saguaro fruit for survival. These cacti also provide shelter to a variety of birds including the Harris’ hawk, Gila woodpecker and elf owl. The Saguaro develops large white flowers between late April and early June. They open in the middle of the night, and close the following morning. These flowers are pollinated by nectar feeding bats, birds and insects.