My name is Olivia Ocelot and I live in the Rainforest in Costa Rica. I like to help my friends with their problems, and my reputation for problem solving has spread really, really, really, really far away. So, my cousin, Bob Bobcat who lives in the Sonoran Desert way up in Arizona just sent me a message by way of Sandra, a Sandhill Crane who stopped in Arizona an her way to Costa Rica, and ran across Bob Bobcat. He asked Sandra Sandhill Crane to tell me he needs my help.
Say no more, I’m on my way!
Yup, I am going to go on up there and see if I can help Bob Bobcat and all his desert buddies. I decided in my infinite Cat Logic that the end pages of my new book will feature the saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea), one of the defining plants of the Sonoran Desert. These plants are large, tree-like columnar cacti that develop branches (or arms) as they age, although some never grow arms. These arms generally bend upward and can number over 25. Saguaros are covered with protective spines, white flowers in the late spring, and red fruit in summer. They are amazing!!!
Saguaros are found exclusively in the Sonoran Desert. The saguaro is the largest cactus in the United States. With the right growing conditions, it is estimated that saguaros can live to be as much as 150-200 years old. Saguaro are very slow growing cactus. A 10 year old plant might only be 1.5 inches tall! Saguaro can grow to be between 40-60 feet tall (12-18m). When rain is plentiful and the saguaro is fully hydrated it can weigh between 3200-4800 pounds. Now that is a big plant. A lot of animals and birds live inside the saguaro, and Bob Bobcat spends a lot of time perched on top of them.
I think they are very beautiful, and they are the symbol of Bob Bobcat’s neighborhood, so I asked my illustrator, Anne Crary Jantz to use a saguaro cactus at the start of my new story. Come walk along with me on this new adventure!