Saguaro Fruit Para el Calor

These past two weeks have been busy but nonetheless extremely informative and fun as I have been commuting back and forth from Coolidge to Tucson, Arizona for CPR and Wilderness First Aid training. I am starting to feel less of an outsider everyday despite my stereotypical Californian urge to wear shorts and sandals everywhere in this 100+ degree weather. I also have found myself feeling more comfortable living in a town far different than what I’m used to, you can even catch me watching World Cup games on Saturday mornings at the nearest Mexican restaurant cheering and celebrating with the cooks. Viva Latinoamerica!

I  spent three days at Saguaro National Park where I joined Sarah, LHIP intern, and Lupe, the Biological Science Technician, on a phenology project. We monitored 50 saguaros by taking photographs with what looks like a large selfie-stick. The pictures captured the top of the saguaros as tall as 40 feet and their arms. The focus was to capture the blooming of saguaro flowers and fruit to observe and document their effects under climate change.

I was impressed of how well Sarah and Lupe contributed to this project with their knowledge and their ability to work confidently with such an intimidating and heavy selfie stick, which was definitely a work out for me. In addition, I was introduced to the delicious and refreshing saguaro fruit for the first time. As we picked the fruit, I could not help but step back and reflect on the beauty of picking this sacred fruit from the same saguaros that once fed people of that land for hundreds of years.

On the other hand, this time around the park, the Four Southern Tribes crew have joined us to take advantage of the low summer visitation at Casa Grande National Monument and take on some summer projects. For two weeks we have worked hard with the rest of the park staff to work on sidewalk and compound backfill projects. The nights at the park do not seem so lonely with the company of the crew, the night owls, and the howling coyotes as we end our long nights with laughs and fire gatherings.


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