May 12, 2008

Death of a Giant

Our local paper is running a three-part series on social promotion in our schools. The crux of their reporting is that students are being promoted when they should be retained and that they are receiving passing grades when they should be flunked. Not exactly news.

(click on image)

Back in 2006 I had a post about this Saguaro Cactus that was in a neighbor's front yard. This was the biggest Saguaro that I have ever seen up close. It was about thirty feet tall and had thirteen arms. Using those figures, the plant must have been at least one hundred-thirty years old. It was there more than a century before the house was built.

Last week, I noticed that a couple of arms had fallen off the plant. I don't know if this was natural causes, vandalism or the work of the owner. In any event, the rest of the plant looked okay to me.

Over the weekend, the old man who lives in the house had a couple of guys cut it down and haul it away. This is akin to chopping down a giant redwood that happened to be growing in your yard.

Saguaro blossom is the official flower of the State of Arizona and the cacti is on the native plant list, which means it cannot be cut down on public land or private land.

If a Saguaro happens to be in the path of a highway, it must be removed. If a land developer wants to clear land for houses, they must relocate the Saguaros on the property. In fact, the only people who can destroy a Saguaro without fear of prosecution, are homeowners who can remove Saguaro from their own property. So, I guess the guy who cut this one down is home free. He's an imbecile, but he's home free in the eyes of the law.

Yes, I know that I, Merle Wayne Sneed only recently chopped down a tree in his own front yard. Not the same thing at all.

If you have Google Earth software, you can find the intersection of E. Rosewood St. and N. Sahuara Ave. in zip code 85711 and it shows a cool shadow of the Saguaro in the image if you zoom in on the house in the NW corner.

Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky


Nan Patience said...

Talk about a downer.

Kurt said...


Julia said...

What a shame. I wonder what the neighbor was thinking.

Coincidentally, I just had a tree removed from our yard too. In my town you have to get a special permit, and they won't let you take down a tree unless it is dangerous or damaging your house. People take it pretty seriously too. The tree guys told me three people stopped and asked to see their permit.

Anonymous said...

Driving on I-8 between Casa Grande and Gila Bend yesterday, I was saddened to see the huge number of saguaro cacti that looked as if they had been ravaged by disease, fire, birds or some other pest. It looked as if the whole "forest" of saguaro, most of which must be hundreds of years old, are about to die.

dennis said...

Dennis thinks that Saguaros have souls--this one sure looks like a wise old soul.

Dennis thinks cactus vandalism would be painful and might require special implements of destruction.

Dennis is sad now.

Squirrel said...

A professor at a top college in this general regional area or many miles away... is a pal, and he told me he has to "upgrade" the students, so the college can boast about high academic achievement. He also mentioned that many kids come out of fancy prep schools horribly unprepared-- as the prep school had to lie about Georgie Wayne Bigbux's grades because his dad paid for... some important thing... And Georgie Wayne is just one moron who will graduate from a prestigious school with top grades. Georgie Wayne could be president of the USA one day. It could happen...

Steve said...

Terrible! Looks like a lot of birds were making their homes in that saguaro, too.