Wednesday, March 9, 2016

3/9 Sonoran Desert Museum, Tucson Mountain Park

I discovered a small slit in one of my tires, so I ended up spending all of yesterday driving 35 miles back into Tucson to the tire dealer I found that had a matching replacement tire and could handle putting it on my big vehicle. Wish I had discovered it on Sunday or Monday before I had driven all the way out here!!

In addition, it had rained Monday night and continued to sprinkle on Tuesday, so I ended up driving my nice, clean vehicle on wet pavement!  I am going to try to get up the energy to wipe it down with a wet rag later this week.  I am not allowed to actually wash it in the campground, but most places do not mind you wiping it down as long as you rinse the rag inside your rig and not use a bucket of water outside.  I'll do just one portion of it at a time so it does not look like I am washing my motorhome.  I did the windows outside on Saturday, and they still seem clean.  Mostly it is the lower part that got dirty.

In any case, today turned out to be a perfect sunny day with an expected high of 74 degrees--perfect for walking around outdoors.  I've actually been to this combination botanical gardens/museum/zoological park several times over the years, but it is still a nice way to spend an afternoon.  I highly recommend it if you ever go to Tucson.

You can see a lot of the valley from the museum and mountains in the distance.

This is brittlebush, which is one of the most common plants in the Sonoran Desert.  It is in full bloom now with bright yellow flowers.

This small prickly pear has sprouted tiny new pads. 

The black bear was hiding, but this very fat squirrel was helping herself to some seeds.  Maybe she is pregnant?  Or just fat?

A couple of Mexican wolves.  They are here because they used to be common in this area.

This might be a Straggling Mariposa Lilly.

This was  yucca plant just past its best bloom. 

Agave, but I need to fix it.

This is a closer view of the flowers on an ocotillo plant. An interesting fact about these very tall (up to 20' tall) plants is that they can live from 60-100 years.  The stems look dead, but they have very tiny leaves.   

Need to look this guy up, but I think it is a spiny chuckwalla.  He was hanging around the bighorn sheep exhibit and was more interesting than they were! 

This bighorn looks pregnant.  Either that, or like the squirrel, is just fat.  By the way, both male and female bighorn sheep have horns, but males have bigger horns.

When it crawled out, it looked a lot bigger than it had in the water.

A lot of pretty flowers in this area.

Do you see the hummingbird?  I took a lot of other photos of hummingbirds in their hummingbird house, but they were all blurry! 

It was really a pleasant day at the museum because of the relatively cool weather.  Tomorrow I ride my bike to Old Tucson.

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