Saturday, March 3, 2012

A visit to the Tucson Desert Museum

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I had almost gone to see the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum last winter when I was staying at Gilbert Ray campground (only about a mile away), but wondered why I should pay nearly $15 to see the same desert as I was already seeing next door.

But friends and colleagues kept mentioning it this year—“have you been to the Desert Museum yet?”  “You can’t leave Tucson without seeing the Desert Museum—you really MUST go!”

So, finally, I decided before Mom returned home to Chicago, we were going to see the darn Desert Museum and find out what all the fuss was about!

I’m happy to report that it was absolutely worth the price of admission!  Not only did they have beautiful desert gardens of all kinds of plants, but they also had numerous animals and a wonderful restaurant and gift shop as well.  I’d sum it up as a fancy zoo with gardens and amenities.

We first visited the reptile house.  It was starting to warm up in Tucson and I wanted to know what all these dangerous creatures looked like that I might encounter in the desert!  I won’t post all the snake pictures, but will show you this nice looking lizard!

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This endangered Mexican Wolf was hiding under a tree trying to stay cool

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Prairie Dog Village was buzzing with activity seeing who could pose the best for all the tourists.

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There were some nice garden displays as well.  A variety of Agave plants:

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and other colorful plants as well:

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There were some species that I didn’t expect to see, but greatly enjoyed, such as these toads:

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And Bighorn sheep with a lizard who had somehow managed to stop in for a visit:
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We were pretty hungry by the time we got to the restaurant area.  There was a traditional fast-food sandwich kind of option, or a fancier sit-down place with white linen tablecloths.  The menu for the sit-down restaurant looked much more appealing and we were not disappointed.  I had a delicious veggie quiche, while mom had a tortilla-crusted fish filet.  It was just the relaxing “recharge” we needed!
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After lunch, we went to the aviary to walk amidst the birds:

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The Hummingbird aviary was saved for last—what an amazing treat to see these little guys (but so much harder to photograph them!):
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All and all, it was a very enjoyable day and I’ll be sure to tell anyone going to Tucson in the future “be sure to visit the Desert Museum!”

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1 comment:

  1. I was born and raised in Yuma, Arizona, but our trips through Tucson never included stopping at the museum. Seems like we were always headed to Texas and beyond to visit family, and museums just weren't in the plan. Your pictures are lovely. Thank you!

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