Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Saguaro National Park, Tucson, AZ
Just outside the back door of the Visitor's center
Before we left Davis-Monthan AFB RV Park (in the overflow as there was no room in the other regular 166 sites) in Tucson, we were able to spend Sunday afternoon in the Saguaro NP. So after church services in the Country Club Road Church of Christ, and a yummy lunch at the local Sweet Tomatoes, we drove the 30 miles up to the Park.
Pancake Prickly Pear
All around us were countless Saguaro Cactus, so at times it was difficult to focus on any other variety, even though there are many other types there too. It was a very pleasant afternoon in the Park, about 70 degrees and lots of visitors.
Pancake Prickly Pear
We went a little half-mile loop nature walk as Nancy is still nursing a sore right knee she hurt a couple of weeks ago. She is so frustrated as she enjoys her three-mile walks every day, and especially hiking. So we took our time, enjoyed the sun and warm breeze, and snapped a lot of photos.
Fishhook Barrel Cactus (I think)
We purchased a cactus book from the visitor's center in hopes of identifying some of the cactus we were seeing. Well, we found out that there many varieties that are cousins and look alike, but do have subtle differences. And this time of the year, without their flowers, or the lack of my discerning knowledge, some of my captions may come into question. So, let me know if I need more education.
Closeup of a young healthy Saguaro
The lady ranger at the visitor's center answered a question I had for before we left on our little nature walk. The question was: "Are there any months that folks are safe from scorpions, tarantula spiders and rattlesnakes around here"? Her answer was a deafening, NO! They are active year around depending the weather/temps for any string of two or three days. My next question to her was: "How has the weather been around here for past few days"? )
Cholla (not sure what type though) Cactus
There many little and not-so-little holes everywhere you look as you walk through the desert (and on our little walk too) and for good reason. It provides refuge from heat and predators as well home for raising young. Some of these holes in the soil fresh "diggings" around them which begged the question: Wonder what lives in there? Well, believe it or not, NPS book store has a guide book titled "The Holes Guide Book". Hmmmmm! Think I'll get one. It has been warm here for about a week.
Young Mesquite Tree or Ironwood Tree...
If someone knows what tree that is above, let me know. It was about 10 feet tall and there many of them around of varying sizes.
A view repeated many times
Wow! I am such an idiot. While taking that photo above, I was standing right next to not one, but three not-so-little holes, and they all had fresh diggings. And the ranger's words came ringing aloud to me: "Just use common sense and watch where you step and never put your hands into a place where you can't see what's under or behind a bush or shrub". That was close!
Fishhook Barrel Cactus about to bloom
On the way out of the Park...
Just outside the Park across from the Museum...
Well, guess it's time to close this blog for now as we now head for California in the morning. We'll be staying at the Twentynine Palms Golf and RV Resort, just outside the USMC Base, and just outside the Utah Trail Road of the Joshua Tree National Park. We'll be in that Park on Tuesday after a long drive (400 miles plus) on Monday. So, till then, Joe & Nancy