Think about the vast American southwest and there’s a good chance you’ll conjure up an image of a Saguaro cactus. However, these giant plants are actually found in a relatively small area. While you’ll see the occasional cactus northward toward Phoenix, most Saguaros in the United States are located in Southern and Southwestern Arizona. Saguaro National Park, on both the east and west sides of Tucson, is a spectacular place to view vast numbers of these enormous cacti.
Saguaros are extremely slow growing and long living. In optimal conditions, they can live up to 200 years. At maturity, they’ll reach up to 60-70 feet in height.
On the day this image was made, heavy rains soaked greater Tucson for many hours. Finally, by mid-afternoon there was a lull. I’d been prowling around the desert with one eye toward the sky. Both the rain and cloud cover were somewhat unusual for that time of year, so I was hoping a photographic opportunity might present itself.
Suddenly, the sun made an appearance, further darkening the storm clouds, and creating a double rainbow. No time to waste: the spot in which I happened to be was going to have to make do! I found a place to park the car, grabbed my equipment, and went looking for a shot. The image you see is the one I walked away with.
This was one of only three times over the span of many years traveling to Arizona in which I encountered rain in March. It’s the single time I encountered a long-lasting soaker. Quite a treat!
The rainbow conjured up the story of Noah, so this image made its way into one of our Teacher Appreciation Gift designs. The featured verse is We will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and mighty wonders.