Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Desert Museum

The Pincushion Cactus
On this Sunday morning, I plan on going outside at some point and battling the mosquitos and the wells. So here's a thought...well more of a question and I'm wondering if I'm the only person who does this, but do you ever impulse buy plants?  For example, yesterday I went to Lowe's and saw a great deal on verbena and lavender. I got excited and spent money....not a lot...around 65 bucks...but after I did that, I thought...."Do you know how much work you just made for yourself? And that money could have been used for gas or food or....._______________(fill in the blank). I suspect it's not just me who does this, but I love plants so much and when a project starts, like the wells around the trees, I get excited. I don't feel like that all the time, but right now before school starts and the paychecks are few, teachers have to watch their spending especially if they did the balloon sum in June. And that would be me:) So should  have I purchased those flowers? Probably not, but here they are calling me out this morning to stake their place in the garden.

Look closely or you'll miss our desert dwellers. Camouflage is the key word here.
Mosquitos.  I hate them.  What??!!!  You have mosquitos in the desert? But I thought it's a dry heat? Oh boy... Yes we do and always during monsoon which makes our "dry heat" go away for awhile:( However the plants love it and it does get cooler in the evenings because of the storms that explode around the city.   I hate mosquitos...wait, I already wrote that, but it's true I hate them.  They bite me like little vampire bugs every single time I go outside and always around the ankles!!.....and yes I use spray but that doesn't stop them. I itch for about 2 hours after working out on the grounds because of the little suckers. We also had rain last night again and they really think it's neat to reproduce and live in my garden.  I didn't invite them and I don't think it's neat at all. So my verbena sits......and I am preparing myself mentally for the bloody battle outside.

So today's topic is the Desert Museum.  It sounds boring, doesn't it?  For most people it does when they come and visit from out-of-town.  They ask me, "Is it worth seeing and spending the money?" And the answer is yes and yes.  I hate museums, but this is one of Tucson's gems.  It spotlights the Sonoran desert both living and rock.  What an incredible place to see our desert come alive!  First off the drive alone is breathtaking as you will meander through the pristine Saguaro National Park.  Thousands of Saguaros surround you while driving on this curvy road, but watch out for the critters as they like to run across the street often.
The Quail...a Tucson favorite!

What some consider the local flying cockroach?
Once you get to the "museum", you will have to find a free parking spot, but pay a 13 dollar entrance fee.  You will see people from all over the world here and realize that you are stepping into an international "must see and do before you die" place......and yes, it's that cool.  The museum sports a living zoo of both plant and animal species native to our desert.  You will be able to see all the varieties of cactus that grow here as well as other Sonoran plants. If you are into the animals and have kids, you are going to love their interactive features around the park. It's a beautiful hike up and down a gravel path which has bridges into a lot of little surprises.  Keep your eyes open for javelinas, coyotes, bighorn sheep, the bobcat....and well, the list goes on and on.  I'm purposely not showing you the buildings in the blog so that it will be a surprise when you go....but here are some local plant favorites of mine along with some of the scenary you'll see at the museum and around Tucson.
The Chuckwalla

The Pincushion Cactus
There are a lot of buildings to cool off in between your walks and they do have an aquarium showing off our snakes, fish, and reptile populations.  There is a humming bird building, a theater that has some really great shows, a butterfly garden.....and the list goes on and on.  I go about once or twice a year as there is always something new to discover and sometimes, it's just to go and walk the beautiful grounds.  You won't regret spending the money and your kids will LOVE it!!  Bring sunblock as you will be out and about on the trails.  I highly recommend this Tucson gem for avid desert gardeners and enthusiasts. You won't be disappointed:) So get inspired and have some fun...just watch out for the mosquitos:(.....Happy Sunday!.
My Mom and Dad in front of the Organ Pipe Cactus
Sonoran Beauty
Lantana...the weed of our desert

1 comment:

  1. I've been to the Desert Museum and would definitely recommend it to anyone traveling in the area. You won't find anything like it anywhere else!


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