Saguaro Series – II
I’ve been on a bit of a scavenger hunt lately.
It all started about a year ago when I realized that the misshapen form I saw on a distant hill (from my kitchen window) was a rare crested saguaro. From my vantage point, it resembled an ogre with thick, uneven limbs. What’s more, its giant Medusa-like, bulbous head teemed with little snaky arms.
At the time, I had only briefly heard the term “crested” saguaro. I did not know that only one in every 150,000 saguaros sports this fan-like hairdo. Or that biologists continue to disagree about the cause of this gnarled anomaly that occurs at the plant’s apex (growing tip). Some suggest lightning strikes are the culprit; others blame genetic mutation, and still other theories point to freeze damage. No one’s really sure.
So, when I finally trekked over to this fascinating “tree of the desert” with my hiking buddies and learned of its rarity, I became a bit obsessed. On every subsequent hiking trip, my eyes scanned until they burned. I was going to find more crested saguaros.
Turns out, I do have a knack for spotting these rarities. Perhaps I am the Crested Saguaro Whisperer (though I’ve never had such luck finding four-leaf clovers, arrowheads, artifacts … But I’ll definitely settle for this gift luck!).
Please enjoy additional saguaro sightings below, all within a 20-mile radius of my home. And if you missed it, read my Saguaro Series I post about the “End of Mighty Saguaro.” Stay tuned for the next Saguaro Series installment.
For Writers & Readers: When you begin a new work in progress, how do you go about your search for unique ideas – the rare – so that your story stands out as that 1 in 150,000? Do you conduct your own kind of scavenger hunt for fresh ideas, bizarre characters and unusual plotlines? Where and how do you begin?
And how do you go about creating something fresh, even if you’re using tried-and-true themes splayed across pages for centuries? Conversely, if you venture too far from common themes (boy meets girl, woman battles internal demons, who-done-it), do you run the risk of being too far “out there,” too unique?
And what about reading … are you turned off by seemingly standard plots? Is there even such a thing as a “unique” theme, a new story? Or has it all been done before? Should you even bother looking for your crested saguaro? Please scroll below photos to comment.
One more thing! When you get a chance, please visit V.V. Denman’s wonderful writing blog, where I guest this week with my post, “A Girl & A Snake.”