“For the past 13 years I have been hiking the Arizona mountain trails and like all who experience firsthand the many splendors of the desert continue to be amazed of the age of our saguaros, how they withstand the extreme heat, survivelightning firesand the treacherous Monsoons that stress them every day……For me, I wanted to bring the desert back to LIFE….my art is merely one small way to preserve the many wonders of the desert.

” Tom fell in love with Arizona 16 years ago after opening a produce buying office in Nogales, AZfora a large food service distribution company based in Houston, Texas. A California native who loved the warm temps and many desert life activities soon convinced his wife, Nan, to move to the SADDLE BROOK area where they live today.

“Hot Styx and Wild Boots” started bringing the desert back to life several years ago when Tom was hiking and needed a hiking stick (Styx)to help him with the rough terrain up the “ArizonaTrail”. He snapped a dead Yuccaflower Styx off and trimmed it down to size and completed the hike. From there, Tom started adding customized handles, rubber tips to the bottoms and reinforcing them with a heavy–durable resin. Soon he started thinking of a way that others who could not experience desert, particularly the Saguaroscouldlearn about them and how they provide such a necessary purpose for the only region in the World where theygrow and especially to the birds and wildlife who depend on them for their homes.

Saguaro Boots is the hard shell of callus tissue, heavily impregnated with lignin, that saguaro cactus creates to protect the wound created by a bird’s nesting hole. Mostly the cactus wren but other birds can pecks through the cactus skin, and then excavates downward to hollow outa space for its nest. When the saguaro dies its soft flesh rots, but it’s woody infrastructure lasts for many years(150-200years). So does the hollow-out callus whose roughly boot-like shape gives it the name of “SaguaroBoot”.

Today, saguaros are protected dead or alive and all of Tom’smaterials are obtained through channels.

 

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