A venerable saguaro cactus stands like a statue in the hot desert landscape, its armlike branches reaching fifty feet into the air. From a distance it appears to be completely still and solitary--but appearances can be deceptive. In fact, this giant tree of the desert is alive with activity. Its spiny trunk and branches are home to a surprising number of animals, and its flowers and fruit feed many desert dwellers.
Gila woodpeckers and miniature elf owls make their homes inside the saguaro's trunk. Long-nosed bats and fluttering white doves drink the nectar from its showy white flowers. People also play a role in the saguaro's story: each year the Tohono O'odham Indians gather its sweet fruit in a centuries-old harvest ritual.
In this first volume of Sierra Club Books' Tree Tales series, a simple, easy-to-read text and appealing drawings document the life cycle of this amazing cactus tree and the creatures it helps to support. Readers will come away with a better understanding of and a lasting respect for this accomodating giant of the desert.