When speaking to a Saguaro East volunteer, he said that a saguaro along the Shantz trail had already bloomed the last week of February.
This saguaro is at the intersection where the Cholla Trail meets the Cactus Forest Trail -- in Saguaro East NP. With its arms akimbo, it is one of the many saguaros that I have spotted that have buds.
Note that arm hanging down in the center. The end of that arm is at the top of my head. This is a close up photo of the buds at the end of the arm.
This closeup reveals that they resemble Brussels sprouts. Sure look like it.
If they were Brussels Sprouts, I would parboil them with a little bacon grease and garlic. I could make a meal out of those. However, I would rather see them as a saguaro blossom.
With the head high location of these buds, there will be many more hiking visits to get more photos as the saguaro buds develop into flowers.