Best Place to Buy a 20-Foot Saguaro Skeleton (2000)

Spur Cross Gallery

Remember that incident back in the '80s, when some yahoo was killed when a giant cactus he'd been shooting at toppled over, crushing him to death? We do, and had the cactus survived, we would have been the first to give it a prickly high-five.

What happened to that cactus, we don't know, but we hope it found a loving home with the folks at Spur Cross Gallery. For more than 17 years now, the gallery's owners have been scavenging fallen saguaros and making them into beautiful art. (Don't try this yourself! It is illegal to take saguaros, living or dead, from the desert without a permit, and no permits have been issued since 1991.)

It's impossible not to be touched by the grandeur of these once-green giants, now stripped to skeletons of wood bleached gray, white and yellow. They soar from the top of the Gallery's roof, lounge against its fences, and decorate its cool interior.

Some are small and smooth, made into wall sconces. Some are medium size, and hollowed out to be fitted with a light bulb inside. The largest -- hundreds of years old -- are untouched, their gnarled bases formed like melted candles, their tall arms still reaching for the sky.

Such beauty doesn't come cheap. Plan on shelling out $200 for smaller specimens and as much as $8,000 for the gallery's tallest cactus, a 20-footer. (In the interest of botanical discretion, we'll refrain from making any jokes about "sticker price.")

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