I took these photos following a late December 2014 storm. This Saguaro had been struck by lightning. It was the most bizarre Saguaro I’ve ever seen. As it fell, one of the arms struck a Palo Verde tree, lopping the tip of it off (visible). In a few photos you can see a molasses-like substance on the cactus. The flesh of the cactus was rotting and had a tremendously bad odor. You can also see the spiral pattern that the lightning bolt made as it worked its way down toward the ground, leaving the Saguaro with scar-like tears. The lightning bolt branched away from the cactus near the bottom, and caused the trunk of a nearby Palo Verde tree to explode.
I can’t wait to see what it looks like now, several months later. Only two days later, this section of desert was blanketed by 3 inches of snow that fell as the clock struck midnight on New Years 2015.