Tuesday, June 17, 2008

This Stick Transforms Into Queen of the Night

Now that I'm a Tucsonan I know all about Queen of the Night. Great native american legends surround the mystery of Peniocereus greggii, the Sonoran Desert native cactus that resembles a dead stick most of the year. But on one night (nature's heat and monsoons to determine exact date), a bloom on this stick turns into a white, fragrant flower. This trumpet-shaped flower attracts sphinx moths for pollination -- and for one night a year we get a show of a lifetime. It is awesome, like none other.

We purchased our little stick from a native cactus nursery nearby, and planted it under our beautiful palo verde in front. We take care of the stick, talk to it and now our little plant has rewarded us with several buds. Great excitement as we await the coming of Queen of the Night!

I'll keep watch (as will Leigh) and will post additional photos of the bloom's progress. Monsoons are coming, so stay tuned for new photos. When I worked at Tohono Chul Park, Russ Buhrow told me the beautiful story about the Queen of the Night legend. I'll try to recount the legend on my blog in a later post.


Leigh said...

Looks like more buds than last year.
Hope it doesn't bloom when we're away. But if it does, the sphinx moths will appreciate it.

Jennifer said...

give us a call, we'd love to come see it in bloom!

Craig Kandel said...

Dear Monica,

I found you randomly online, trying to research art off the grid in Tucson. I thought you might be a decent guide or you could at least throw some info my way. Here's the standard email I usually send out.

My name is Craig Kandel. I'm with the Host Collective. An outsider artist group that started in Knoxville, TN. I'm in the process of building an online resource for independent artists and audiences alike. I'll be traveling around the country this summer visiting artists/galleries/venues/festivals/etc. that you wouldn't find on your typical grid. My purpose is to interview and document for the website that I am creating americanoutsiderart. com.

I'd like to meet you and any one that you could point in my direction that might be interested. I'll also be working on some personal projects on the road that you might like to take part in. I know it's short notice but if you take time out of your schedule it will be good for a free meal at the least. I'll be in Tucson on July 15th for about 3 days. I don't know anyone there so any help you could give would be much appreciated, let me know what you can do. I'll list some links below of press I've gotten in the past.
Craig Kandel
www. myspace. com/hostclothing
www. americanoutiderart. com
http://www. knoxvoice. com/news/articles/host-clothing/
http://ninebullets. net/wp-images/CraigKandel-Host/

craig Kandel said...

p.s. I lost my phone charger on the road so you can contact me at ckandel@americanoutsiderart.com