Nature photography, political rants, and Martyman laughs from the ten-time award-winning author of "Cool Creatures, Hot Planet," "Endangered Edens," and the "Time Is Irreverent" series.

Cactuses or cacti? Octopuses or Octopi?

Marty’s photo of the day #2043: Since returning from Mexico, I have posted some photos and written about a few of the birds I found at sunrise atop giant cardón cactuses. And for you grammarians, yes “cactuses” is just as correct as “cacti.” The same goes for the plural of octopus, which can be either “octopuses” or “octopi.” As a writer, I prefer using an “es” rather than an “i,” as that’s the direction the English language is heading, and the latter just sounds too stodgy for me. But if you prefer to use cacti and octopi, have at it.

Now that that’s out of the way, here’s a cardón cactus—the world’s tallest species of cactus—that I photographed at sunrise. This cactus had so much character; it didn’t need a bird. To get it all in at the proper angle, I had to take the photo while on my back on the desert floor. My dog hiking companions, Chaco and Toby, of course, thought I was rolling over for us to play, making this shot much more challenging than it appears.

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