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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Cacti and succulents GALORE--not to mention some really cute desert critters...

Before heading out to Arid Lands Greenhouse, we made the long journey to the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum early in the morning in an attempt to avoid the full heat of the desert sun.  To our surprise and relief, the museum provided sun-blocking umbrellas which, while outrageously dorky, were very useful at preventing the outrageously painful sunburn I was expecting. 

We found a rare crested Saguaro by the entrance to the outdoor museum, which was just starting to flower.  In fact, when we arrived in Tucson, all the Saguaros were covered in buds, which began blooming profusely during our stay.  There were hundreds of thousands of Saguaros EVERYWHERE!  From far away, they look like soft, stuffed animals you just want to hug!  Those arm like branches just seem to wave hello!  But up close, they are a prickly affair.  Not to fun to hug, I can tell you.  I think the older ones lose their lower spines to animals and wind and whatnot, but maintain them higher up. 

I also learned that Saguaros are high-rise bird condos.

1 comment:

  1. Isn't that amazing! I got to see them for the 1st time last year when I helped my sister move to Phoenix. Took a bunch of photos but was only there for about a day and a half and didn't get to a great cactus/succulent garden. I hope to get there in May of next year when they all are blooming!