Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum...

Yesterday, AJ Reardon picked me up and we headed west. We went down the winding roads of the Tucson Mountains and through saguaro cactus forests to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. It's a zoo, botanical gardens, art gallery, and natural history museum all rolled into one!

We got there just in time for the Raptor Free Flight demonstration. A variety of birds came swooping overhead – perching and posing for photographs. I always marvel at the flight of birds, whether it's the silent gliding of owls or the rapid strum of falcons.

The Desert Museum had an impressive collection of reptiles. Besides the traditional room full of glassed-in environments, they also had clever exhibits where you'd have to move large plastic "faux" boulders to see the snakes curled up and hidden.

One of my favorite exhibits was the bobcat enclosure! They had two who were extremely playful and were not afraid to come out. I took tons of photos of them and probably could have taken more. I really enjoyed seeing the different animals who call the desert home. Many of them I had not seen in person before.

I also enjoyed the various different specimens of desert flora. Much of it was displayed very naturally, so as to compliment and blend in with the scenery.

Another really stunning feature of the Desert Museum is the wall of geological specimens! On display were really unusual formations of glittering crystals curling, spiking, and clustering in vibrant candy colors.

They also have a fake cave that you can crawl in that replicates a cave filled with stalagmites and stalactites. Being in the cave felt momentarily like being on another planet. The dipping columns and glowing pools seemed otherworldly.

One of the best things, however, is where the Desert Museum is located and all the incredible views. It really is a 360 degree experience. It was fantastic to get out of the city and see the wild desert. The sky seemed so big and the mountains so massive. I had a lovely time with AJ! It was great getting to know her better and exploring one the premiere attractions of Tucson with her.

I took many more photographs, which I have included in a Flickr set in my Photostream. CLICK HERE to see all of the pictures from the trip.


Kokopelli said...

Thanks for sharing those awesome photos! I just finished an embroidered cuff inspired by Arizona. If you like to have a look:

Sadly I've never been to Arizona.

Alice said...

This sounds like an amazing place to visit. I'll have to add it to my list. Thanks!!!

Spirited Earth said...

what an amazing living museum..
thanks for sharing these photos.
love the bobcat

Deci said...

We visited in November, had a wonderful day there.

Sabine said...

I am so glad you got over to the Desert Museum. Such a wonderful place. Sounds like you are enjoying all of Tucson!


AJ said...

Yay! I'm glad to see that so many of the photos turned out well :) I had such fun going out to the museum with you!

Shaiha said...

Love the pics. I have been trying to convince the hubby that we want to move to AZ since I love the desert and my fibro would really love it also. No luck so far but I will keep trying especially after seeing these pics