My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Monday, May 1, 2017

Arizona-Sonora Dessert Museum

April 22, 2017

One of my favorite places to visit is the Arizona-Sonora Dessert Museum in Tucson, Arizona. Since I was planning to take a southern route west so I could camp out at least some of the nights, it was a no brainer to plan a stop there.

I also have a blogger and Facebook friend who lives there and works as a docent at the museum. We ALMOST got to meet a second time and hang out together at the museum but then I had to leave a day late and she had previous commitments. 

This place is mostly an outdoor garden with a little bit of zoo thrown it.  It features the plants and animals of the Arizona -Sonora Dessert. (I've never had time to make it to the mineral collections. )

But this is what they advertise: 
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
  • One of the world's most comprehensive regional mineral collections
One of my favorite things about this place is that it opens at 7:30 A.M., giving you time to see a lot of it before the bright, sharp Tucson son makes the shadows sharp and you hot. 

I always have to spend several minutes in the parking lots which are beautifully landscaped with native plants, many in bloom. 

Then I head to the two aviaries, enjoying what I find along the way. Then it's time to check in on the big cats and the mountain goats. Finally, I go inside to see the otters, cats, dessert fox, and snakes, as well as fish that live in the riparian areas. 

Come along.

Seguaro blooms bring in the bees

Not sure if the woodpecker is after the nectar or the bees

Barrel cactus blooms

Cacti and succulent plants for pollinators 

Think this is an Anna's hummingbird

Some volunteers get to share the raptors with the public - barn owl

White winged dove

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I was surprised to see black-bellied whistling ducks have expended their territory to Arizona

California quail

One of the dozen hummers of several species in the hummingbird avery

The new mountain goat kid


A very happy bee

Cactus flower and "leaves"


Dessert fox taking a nap

Pair of bobcats

I took a quick trip to the neighboring Saguaro National Park which is adjacent to the museum but further up the hill a few miles. 

The Visitor Center

Shadow pattern on the visitor center patio

A view from the patio

Sorry for the late post but I'm visiting several friends.  I am in Seattle now, but I visited a fellow voluteer in Portland, then we both had supper with one of my bosses from Malheur.  Then I promised to meet another old boss, thinking she was in Seattle, but she was in Spokane, so I had another full day of driving, including a three hour delay on the highway. And then, of course, we are spending most of each day playing.