Our day in the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
This is the parking lot of the Desert Museum. For a panoramic view of this picture, click HERE.

Overlook to the Sonoran Desert Landscape. The plant with 

And away we go. There are many paths to follow.
In we go into the catacomb.   
Stalagmites and stalactites. Didn't expect this in Arizona. 

And a parrot of all things! In a cage? Didn't expect this. Whoops! should have read the text on Elaine's picture to the right. "Thick-billed Parrot. As recently as 1936 large flocks of them visited the mountains of southeastern Arizona. Today these birds are restricted to the mature pine forests of Mexico's Sierra Madre. . . . Due to habitat destruction, this bird is an endangered species."   

Not sure what this is. Looks like a prairie dog.
Back outside. More marigold. We saw lots and lots of this. 
This is a barrel cactus, bearing its fruit. Flowers come later.
In the lower right corner are Prickly Pears. I saw a few blooming off the highway, but none in this museum.
A very good example of an Ocotillo. 
And some in context.
The red hillside is geologically old red dirt, not flowers. 
A coyote. (Thanks for the correction, Jan and Sally)  To the right is a scene we each  photographed 20 minutes apart. It's busy but full of diverse plant life. 
red flowers on the end is an ocotillo. I have more of this later.
Not sure what these are but the shadow is me taking the pic.
This sign reads CATCLAW ACADIA.
On the way out, we were greeted by a Tarantula. (In a box).
I think the word "desert", clearly derived from the same word as "deserted" should not be used to describe this landscape which is clearly not deserted of ample vegetation.
Elaine had her Digital Canon Elph always at hand.
A great example of an old Saguaro. Elaine's a lot younger.
A very close-up of the Ocotillo bloom.
All you want to know about the ocotillo plant.
At the extreme right hand lower corner is a kind of century plant. We have much to say about them in a later Tucson episode.
These are generally called teddy bear cactus, back lit by the sunshine. They look plainer with the sun at you back.
This is Sonoran Nightshade -- an example of one below. 
Organ Pipe Cactus. It's related to the saguaro, but many branches come from the ground. Not native to Tucson, but exists at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in southwest Arizona.
The little sign below the red flower calls it a BIZNAGA.
This little fellow is a Javilena, and I sincerely invite you to read all about him by clicking on this insert.
I have no idea why this is designated a Hot Spot.

The complete name is Teddy Bear Cholla.

These are poppies -- we saw fields of them at the Sonora National park -- posted later.  
This should be called "slithering snake cactus". I'll look it up.
And these are cleverly named "Totem Pole Cactus".
Elaine loved to take pictures of these prickly pear cactus. In some places, they actually looked like trees with thick wooden trunks. We see them later in the week.
The dark, slithering cactus above the sign really did look dead. But the sign explained that it was simply the cactus' way of protecting itself from severe droughts. We saw many like these that were really green.
   I really miss driving down a road, not seeing prickly cactus.
All through the museum, signs tell you what you see, like this.

Next, the rest of the Desert Museum complete with animals, raptors, other birds and of course, more cactus!

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