Saguaro Cactuses

Confusion arises over the plural of cactus
because its original plural form (cacti) derives from Latin
and native English speakers are drawn to cactuses,
which adheres to the standard ruling for forming plurals.
Grammar Monster

Drawn to “cactuses” as the plural: Yup, that’s me.  (Although I dispute that there’s any confusion involved.)  Drawn to cactuses: Yup, that too. 

In our early days wintering in the Southwest, I took many photi of saguaros; lately, not so many.  Familiarity might not breed contempt exactly, but indifference does seem to be a common offspring.  It took a recent visit from a friend who was relatively unfamiliar with the region to turn my attention back to these behemoths.  To start seeing and appreciating all their diversity again, for the first time.


2-photo collage of saguaro cactuses and contrails

Close Standers

2-photo collage of saguaro cactuses


2-photo collage of saguaro cactuses with many arm budsLifecyclers

3-photo collage showing life stages of saguaroSnoozers

Holes making a sleepy face on a saguaro cactus.



  1. Oh, Wow! No wonder our firstborn (and his wife) called his firstborn Cactus after visiting this part of the US. I suggested the middle name Willow in case classmates made too much of an unusual name. Then, they homeschooled their small forest of boys (+ Oakley + Cedar) so ‘Tus never had to deal with the teasing I anticipated. He’s a tall teen now and awe-inspiring like the subjects of your photos, if not so prickly.

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Laurna – Wow, indeed. Having seen them, I find it obvious that a name like Cactus reflects the awe that they rightly inspire. I hope that’s clear to the teen. 🙂

    1. Isabel Gibson

      John – Well, it’s only fair. I got started by seeing a wonderful collection of these photos through a link on Facebook (haha), and now I see them (almost) everywhere. Great fun.

  2. I do believe that unfortunately named kids eventually grow into and accept their baby names. My new grand-nephew is named Apollo… A real sunny disposition and funny at everything he does, including falling down. A real clown.

    The Greek God Apollo has been variously recognized as a god of music, truth and prophecy, healing, the sun and light, plague, poetry, and more. It may be up to 1-year-old Apollo to be the “god” of humour.

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Barbara – And if they don’t grow into them, they can always change them, or go with a less-exceptional middle name, as Laurna suggested. Options are good. 🙂 My hunch is that others will accept the name if the person does, more or less without embarrassment, but it’s hard at the time of naming to know which kid will have the gift of unselfconsciousness.

        1. Isabel Gibson

          Barbara – At least Zeus starts out as the strong one-syllable that so many men’s names contract to,and people know how to pronounce it. (Don’t they?) I have a Persephone in my clan and expect she will get “purse-a-phone” from a good percentage on first contact. I’m waiting to see if it gets contracted to Percy.

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