Ignore the man with the long paintbrush pole walking through the desert

Posted: Updated:
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3TV/CBS 5) -

I love saguaros, especially when they bloom. This year has been a banner year for blooms which is kind of surprising since we’ve had so little rain. In fact, the folks at the Saguaro National Park in Tucson, where the saguaros are also going crazy, don’t have an explanation. Best guesses are the plants are stressed so they put out more blooms. Or, the saguaros know more about the upcoming monsoon that anyone or anything else. Wouldn’t that be crazy? 

[SPECIAL SECTION: Weather blog]

But no matter. If there are saguaro blooms out there, I’m out there, too.

A couple of years ago, I decided I want to take better pictures of the flowers, not just from below or the side, so I bought a selfie stick.

[MOBILE/APP USERS: Click/tap here for a picture of a selfie stick]

That was a partial solution. I found out most of the blooms were a lot higher off the ground than that. Then I remembered I had a really big, extendable paintbrush pole sitting in the garage collecting cobwebs.

[MOBILE/APP USERS: Click/tap here for a picture of a paintbrush pole]

I purchased, very cheaply on Amazon, a connector that would allow me to connect a camera or a phone.

[MOBILE/APP USERS: Click/tap here for a picture of the adapter]

So using the Bluetooth switch from the selfie stick and my old painting pole, I was in business.

[MOBILE/APP USERS: Click/tap here for a picture of the Bluetooth switch]

The pole extends about 16 feet and with my reach, I get flowers up to 20 feet high. I use my phone so I can look at them quickly. Also, it’s lighter than a camera. And if I see a really cool one, I tweet it.

[MOBILE/APP USERS: Click/tap here for picture of flowersphoto of contraption taking ]

Even though you’re not looking through a lens, you can get a pretty good feel for where your lens is pointing and can get some fantastic pictures. At least I’m pretty happy with some of mine.

[RELATED: Easy plants for color in the desert!]

Here’s what I also like. No ladder. The pole is light and unobtrusive, and no drones. Yes, I have friends with drones and they can take great videos of the tops of saguaros, etc. But they’re noisy as all get out and I think nature should be, well, limited as much as possible to sounds in nature. This low tech way is very satisfying and very quiet. Doesn’t hurt a thing.

[MOBILE/APP USERS: Click/tap here to see pictures of saguaro flowers]

One more tip: with saguaro flowers, you really have to be out in the high sun. Once the sun starts to get toward late afternoon, the flowers begin to close pretty quickly. So sunscreen up, bring lots of water, enjoy the desert, and get some cool saguaro photos.

[MOBILE/APP USERS: Click/tap here to see pictures of saguaro flowers]

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


  • Arizona's Family Weather BlogMore>>

  • Off the beaten path: Forrest Gump Point

    Off the beaten path: Forrest Gump Point

    Wednesday, July 18 2018 4:20 PM EDT2018-07-18 20:20:46 GMT
    (Sources: 3TV/CBS 5 and Paramount Pictures)(Sources: 3TV/CBS 5 and Paramount Pictures)
    (Sources: 3TV/CBS 5 and Paramount Pictures)(Sources: 3TV/CBS 5 and Paramount Pictures)

    People come from all over the world to see Arizona's Monument Valley. But there's one view, in particular, that has people parking on the side of the road and then dodging traffic to take a certain picture.

    More >

    People come from all over the world to see Arizona's Monument Valley. But there's one view, in particular, that has people parking on the side of the road and then dodging traffic to take a certain picture.

    More >
  • Earliest mention of monsoon in Arizona

    Earliest mention of monsoon in Arizona

    Wednesday, July 11 2018 9:29 AM EDT2018-07-11 13:29:04 GMT
    The Arizona monsoon probably got its name back in the late 40s. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)The Arizona monsoon probably got its name back in the late 40s. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    The first mention of the monsoon in Arizona occurred in the 1940s.

    More >

    The first mention of the monsoon in Arizona occurred in the 1940s.

    More >
  • Fourth of July ushers in weather pattern change

    Fourth of July ushers in weather pattern change

    Tuesday, July 3 2018 2:55 PM EDT2018-07-03 18:55:53 GMT

    The Fourth of July is typically a hot and dry holiday in Arizona.  And while that will be the case this year, a big weather change is headed our way later this week. 

    More >

    The Fourth of July is typically a hot and dry holiday in Arizona.  And while that will be the case this year, a big weather change is headed our way later this week. 

    More >
  • Featured VideoMore>>

  • Flagstaff neighborhood closed off after storm drops 5 inches of rain

    Flagstaff neighborhood closed off after storm drops 5 inches of rain

    Thursday, July 19 2018 9:51 AM EDT2018-07-19 13:51:06 GMT

    People who live in the area of Brandis Way in Flagstaff weren't able to go home Wednesday night. A 200-year rain event dropped 5 inches of rain in one day, causing floodwater to roll through the streets.

    More >

    People who live in the area of Brandis Way in Flagstaff weren't able to go home Wednesday night. A 200-year rain event dropped 5 inches of rain in one day, causing floodwater to roll through the streets.

    More >
  • Getting a good night's sleep as you get older

    Getting a good night's sleep as you get older

    Thursday, July 19 2018 9:20 AM EDT2018-07-19 13:20:45 GMT
    When's the last time you had a really good night's sleep? If you're like most of us, it doesn't happen often enough especially as we get older. (Source: 123rf.com)When's the last time you had a really good night's sleep? If you're like most of us, it doesn't happen often enough especially as we get older. (Source: 123rf.com)
    When's the last time you had a really good night's sleep? If you're like most of us, it doesn't happen often enough especially as we get older. (Source: 123rf.com)When's the last time you had a really good night's sleep? If you're like most of us, it doesn't happen often enough especially as we get older. (Source: 123rf.com)

    When's the last time you had a really good night's sleep? If you're like most of us, it doesn't happen often enough especially as we get older.

    More >

    When's the last time you had a really good night's sleep? If you're like most of us, it doesn't happen often enough especially as we get older.

    More >
  • McCain shared brain cancer diagnosis one year ago

    McCain shared brain cancer diagnosis one year ago

    Thursday, July 19 2018 5:54 AM EDT2018-07-19 09:54:09 GMT
    Sen. McCain shared the news of his brain cancer diagnosis on July 19, 2017. (Source: CNN)Sen. McCain shared the news of his brain cancer diagnosis on July 19, 2017. (Source: CNN)

    Thursday, July 19 marks one year since Sen. John McCain shared the news of his brain cancer diagnosis. He has not been in seen in public in the last several months. Doctors at Barrow Neurological Institute sat down with us to explain how he might be feeling today.

    More >

    Thursday, July 19 marks one year since Sen. John McCain shared the news of his brain cancer diagnosis. He has not been in seen in public in the last several months. Doctors at Barrow Neurological Institute sat down with us to explain how he might be feeling today.

    More >