..........A little blog about the little things in life..........

Sunday, May 22, 2011

May Road Trip - Part 1 - Arizona

We're back from our latest road trip.  This time we traveled approximately 2800 miles, making a big loop through Arizona, New Mexico, back to Arizona, Utah, Nevada and home.  Our first destination was Tucson, Arizona, where we visited the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, located about 12 miles west of Tucson.

The ASDM is a world renowned zoo, natural history museum and botanical garden located on 98 acres of beautiful desert country.  There are 2 miles of walking paths and the focus is on the plants and animals that live in the Sonoran Desert.  There are 300 animal species and 1200 kinds of plants. 

We really enjoyed our brief stay and made it over most of the walking paths.  Luckily it wasn't too hot (in the low 80's).

Here are some photos from our morning at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

The giant saguaro cactus are the most well-known cactus in the Sonoran Desert.  They are slow growing and can live for 150 years and grow from 15 to 50 feet tall.  When it rains, the saguaros soak up the rainwater, visibly expanding to hold the water for later consumption.  The white and yellow night-blooming flowers appear April thru June and bats are the main pollinators.  Birds such as Gila woodpeckers, purple martins, house finches and flickers live inside holes in the saguaros.

There are many others kinds of cacti as well.

The desert animals are kept in naturalistic zoo enclosures.  On our trip we saw:

Javalinas, a gray fox, bobcat and wolf.


 a beautiful green parrot
 A fat dove
 A mountain sheep
 a sleepy coyote
and a playful river otter!

But this blue-collared lizard was one of my favorites.

From Tucson we drove to Sierra Vista, Arizona.  Sierra Vista is fairly close to the US-Mexican border, so illegal immigrants are a large problem.  We saw several road blocks where north bound traffic was stopped, and noticed this sign on a hiking trail several miles from the town.

Tom had his driver's license ready in case he needed to prove he was legal!

Next entry - on to Silver City, New Mexico.