Saturday, November 21, 2009

Desert Botanical Garden- November 21

We had an absolutely delightful day in this garden. Not only were we able to view many kind of cacti-but there were tags identifying the plants. And in each section of the garden there were interpretive exhibits regarding water conservation,also Sonoran desert plant and human adaptation to what could be regarded as a very harsh environment. I have here a picture of a Native Indian hut made of desert plants-the roof is composed of arrow weed and willow saplings,and the wooden framework is made of cottonwood and mesquite. We were surprised to learn that in the oasis of the desert willow trees can be found. There are 400 edible plants in the dessert. For one example,the mesquite bean is pounded down and used for flour. And speaking of the mesquite,it is also known as the "tree of life",as it can be found near a water channel. What also made a tour through this garden so enjoyable was the very active insect,bird and animal life. There is a wildflower garden section,and here the bees and butterflies were numerous. We came to find out that there are 1200 species of bees in the garden. I also have to mention the birds who were very active. They seemed to go on about their business with no attention to the humans around. A hummingbird just grazed my forehead,and another bird swooped so low he almost got caught in my hair. What was fascinating was to watch a thrasher pound at a barrel cactus with his long pointed beak. My sister Gloria was with us-I have her pictured here in front of a fruit chain cholla. The other picture is of numerous pipe organ cacti.

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