Crested Saguaro Society

Crest Quest Reports

December 24, 2022 Near Cave Creek

Report by Joe Orman


(The desert) requires time to be comprehended. For someone who is
unused to the scale of the southwestern landscape, comprehension requires
waiting, wandering, wondering; for such landscapes are at first
hardly believable, impossible to absorb at a single sitting ...

                                      Stephen C. Jett, Great American Deserts

A while back, I'd gotten tips on a couple of crested saguaros near the town of Cave Creek; on this day I decided I'd waited long enough and went to check them out.

Driving into town, I paused to take an updated photo of this roadside saguaro, which I'd spotted four years earlier ... it still can't make up its mind if it wants to crest out or not!

Soon my hiking boots were taking me into the hills. The first tip was this arm crest on a hillside above a horse trail:

After that, I decided to wander farther into the surrounding hills ... from a high point, I got this telephoto shot of Pinnacle Peak in the distant haze:

I found one other crested saguaro on the hike, another arm crest. As I often do, I wondered if anyone else has ever seen this small crest hidden in such an obscure area:

The trail back took me past this Y-split saguaro:

After the hike, I checked out the second tip. It turned out to be uncomfortably close to someone's house, so I settled for this telephoto shot:

Nearby, but away from any houses, I spotted this newly-crested saguaro:

Driving the local back roads, I spotted another Y-split saguaro:

... and this arm crest:

Lastly, driving out of the area, I stopped at a local plant nursery to get an updated photo of their crested saguaro. Since it was late afternoon on Christmas Eve, the nursery was closed and I had to settle for this telephoto shot from their parking lot:

It's been more than 16 years since this saguaro was first photographed by the Crested Saguaro Society; I was glad to see that it has survived so long (most transplanted crested saguaros don't).

As I do at the end of all well-spent days, I found myself wondering where the time went. But one thing I knew for sure: though my wandering was over for now, the desert would still be there, waiting.

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Revised: October 21, 2023