Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Part One

I was so excited to finally visit the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum when we were in Tucson last June...
Unfortunately as we were getting ready to check out of our hotel that morning (this one) I recognized the early signs of a migraine. I tried to stop it, but nope, it ran into me like a freight train.

I loaded up with water and put on my sunglasses and tried to make the best of it. Oh, and BTW, it was 102 that day. And I dare you to find shade...

Saguaro skeleton.

Saguaros as far as the eye can see...

Looking at my photos I'm surprised things are in focus, snapping pictures with your sunglasses on (it was just too bright to take them off with a migraine) is not a recipe for success.

A little background: "The mission of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is to inspire people to live in harmony with the natural world by fostering love, appreciation, and understanding of the Sonoran Desert. Unlike most museums, about 85% of the experience is outdoors...The 98 acre Desert Museum is a fusion experience: zoo, botanical garden, art gallery, natural history museum, and aquarium."

  • 21 interpreted acres with two miles of walking paths through various desert habitats
  • 230 animal species
  • 1,200 types of plants — 56,000 individual specimens

"Founded in 1952, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is widely recognized throughout the world as a model institution for innovative presentation and interpretation of native plants and animals featured together in ecological exhibits. The Museum is regularly listed as one of the top ten zoological parks in the world due to its unique approach in interpreting the complete natural history of a single region (in our case this is the Sonoran Desert and adjacent ecosystems). This represents a significant achievement, as the Museum’s collections and size are smaller than many of its counterparts. Not a “museum” in the usual sense, it is an unparalleled composite of plant, animal, and geologic collections with the goal of making the Sonoran Desert accessible, understandable, and valued." (source)

It was a beautiful place and I hope to go back again someday when I can really enjoy it.

As I said, we were there in June. As the sign says the Saguaro were definitely producing fruit. We'd seen flowers a couple days earlier at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum, but here... was all about the fruit.

Lots of fruit.

Before I discovered the Cactus Garden I encountered a snake spread across the entrance path. I'm not sure what it was, but it was in no hurry to move on, and didn't seem to mind me or the other visitors that came up on it. Sorry, no photos.

Love these planters.

There were labels on many of the plants, but I didn't do a great job of recording them. It was just all about enjoying the beauty.

Vine on a Saguaro! That's a new one for me.

The elusive shade, sort of.

I love the strawberry pot filled with colorful cactus.

Look at those super-long spikes!

Hmmm... palm trees off in the distance...

Closer, but still on the other side of the pathway. I'll get there eventually.

Pretty bird! I saw a lot of animals in the park but didn't try to photograph most of them, I just enjoyed seeing them.

This place really was magical, like Boyce Thompson I loved how the cultivated areas ran right into the natural. The road to the museum zig-zaged through hundreds of Saguaro and the view through the hills was breathtaking.

The building is a restaurant with bathrooms and water bottle refilling stations, much needed at this point!

Loved these, and actually sat in them for a minute, until they started to burn my bum.

Now I was under the palm trees!

This area was a welcome respite from the open desert area.

And there were several red dragonflies zooming about.

In tomorrow's "Part Two" we'll look at the Agave Garden, the one place I did manage to pull it together and focus on capturing names. These beauties weren't part of that garden and weren't labeled. I think they must be a variety of A. parryi, but I could be wrong.

Come back tomorrow for more sun and spikes!

Weather Diary, Jan 30: Hi 50, Low 31/ Precip 0

All material © 2009-2019 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Wednesday Vignette, amputate!

Modern art?

No, I'm afraid not. This should give you a better idea what the blemishes are.

Here's the scar (at "ground" level). This poor mistreated Agave americana has been in this container too long. It get's no cover from our winter rains, that amputated arm was heavy with absorbed moisture. I love Agaves but I also mistreat them...

Weather Diary, Jan 29: Hi 52, Low 34/ Precip 0

Wednesday Vignettes are hosted by Anna at Flutter & Hum. All material © 2009-2019 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.