The Shroud of Phoenix

A saguaro has sealed off damage where it's skin has split in multiple places on the Apache Wash Loop Trail in Phoenix Sonoran Preserve in Phoenix, Arizona on January 2, 2021. Original: _RAC3511.arw

When I first saw the pattern of damage in this saguaro I was reminded of the Shroud of Turin, only when I later looked at images of the real shroud I realized my remembrance of it was mistaken, it was far more detailed in actuality than memory. This section of damage reminded me of a head, a torso with crossed arms, and legs below, here shown in the seconds before the sun dipped below the mountains behind me. Perhaps the skin of the saguaro split after it ate too many donuts and it sealed the damage with resin to prevent water loss, but I’m not a biologist.

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