Cactus Face

On my way into the Gilbert Water Ranch in search of black-crowned night herons, black-necked stilts, and whatever else raises its wing to be counted, I glance at the cactus garden near the entrance. Just checking for gila woodpeckers, which nest in the cavities in these saguaro cactuses.

And there it is. Like the cushion face before it, I’m not sure what creature this is, but creature it surely is. I mean, look at that face! Maybe it’s missing one tusk? Or is it a unicorn with a monocle?

Serendipitous face on saguaro cactusOn the way out of said park (albeit on another day), I catch another cactus winking at me. Ike? Is that you?

Saguaro cactus with slits and holes that make a face

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10 Responses to Cactus Face

  1. Jim Taylor says:

    In the first photo, I like the upraised middle finger in the background. Maybe it’s expressing what it thinks of your obsession with finding faces?
    Jim T

  2. Tom Watson says:


  3. Your face-finding places you in good company. The ents, trolls, orcs, dragons, dwarfs, fairies, elves, and other creatures of myth, folktale, and fantasy surely came into human imagination through such anthropomorphizing tendencies as yours. George MacDonald’s *Phantastes* comes to mind, which I think was a major influence on both J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – I am not familiar with “Phantastes,” but it’s available free online here. Gotta love a book that starts thusly: “I awoke one morning with the usual perplexity of mind which accompanies the return of consciousness.” As for seeing human and animal shapes in rock formations and so on, I think I’m poor at it. We hiked through an area in Iceland that was full of these creatures in the volcanic rock – at least according to the locals – and I hardly saw one of them.

  4. The first one is the “felt image” of what it feels like to be something in your eye.

    The second looks man-made with a knife…not you, of course, but somebody. The cactus endures.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Barbara – Something in my eye: LOL. Manmade: As I walked by the same place this AM, I saw yet another cactus with that sideways mouth slit, so maybe this is a common structural-failure mode in saguaro cactuses.

  5. Judith Umbach says:

    Obviously the spirit of the cactus!

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