Saguaro cacti grow in an almost endless array of shapes, but few have the fearsome appearance of one that Roman Vasquez sees on his morning walks.
"It looks to me like an old dinosaur in a desert surrounding," said Vasquez, who first spotted the prickly prehistoric likeness about a year ago in a desert area of his east-side neighborhood. "If fact, with a little imagination, I would say it looks like a Tyrannosaurus rex."
Darned if it doesn't - from some angles anyway.
Vasquez sees the quirky cactus - which we might as well call a "saguarosaurus" - on the east side of Ridgeside Drive as he walks along Ridgeside south of Sediment Drive.
"Looking at it from a bit of a distance and seeing the complete saguaro, I think it really looks like a dinosaur," he said. "If you look at the 'head,' it looks like a big old open mouth. It looks like we've got this old monster out there."
Vasquez said he takes pleasure in pointing out his find to others.
"When my grandchildren visit me from California, I like to take them on what I call the 'spooky walk' because we take these walks early in the morning when it is still dark so we can gaze at the stars and enjoy the desert surroundings and sounds at that time," he said. "While on these walks, we always visit the 'saguaro dinosaur' and experience how mysterious it looks with only the light of our flashlights."
Got an oddity?
Have you noticed something while driving through Tucson that has piqued your curiosity? Or is there a piece of Old Pueblo history you've wondered about? Drop us a line, and we'll look into it. Contact the Star newsroom at email@example.com or 807-7776.
Contact reporter Doug Kreutz at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 573-4192. On Twitter: @DouglasKreutz