Bullet holes and smiley faces in Mexico

It was so tall I had to get five pictures.


I am not an environmentalist. I love nature and exploring the outdoors but don’t find myself yearning to promote laws to protect it. 

But in some cases like in Baja mexico I make an exception. Christian and I went looking for a place called the “Valle de los Gigantes”, the valley of the giants. It was described to us in a guide-book as a gorgeous valley of saguaro (pronounced sa-warro)cacti.  We drove for hours around the San Felipe area asking locals for it. No one knew where it was. 

We finally found it with the help of a local woman on a 4 wheeler. It wasn’t identified with a sign or designation, formal or informal. There was just a stand of magnificent Saguaro cacti. They were giant! 

What motivated my environmentalist tendencies in Mexico was what I found. Nearly every one of the “giants” had large bullet holes or sticks poked into their sides or smiley faces scratched into their trunks. These cactus are mystical to me. I was disgusted. This one was an impressive specimen that was unmarred. Looking back now I should have photographed the damaged ones.  

These cactus are fine statues that show the power of life in difficult situations. It can take up to 75 years for them to grow a limb. Not being an expert, I would place this cactus at 150 years old. Probably older. It was a seedling in 1850. 

I’ll wager that none of you will ever go to the “Valle de los Gigantes” near San Felipe. If you do, get some photos of the damaged cactus for me to brood over. I would appreciate it.

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