Tohono Chul Park

Today, we were guests of Sally Price, a woman Elaine worked with at DOD for many years. Sally took over Elaine's job when we moved to England for three years. Sally and Bill retired and moved to Tucson and after a short time, Bill died. The library here was funded by Sally in Bill's memory as the picture right acknowledges.
     We had a nice lunch with Sally, paid our entrance fee, and had a wonderful afternoon with her showing us all the sights. She is a docent of the park and consequently knows a lot about the place. The park was itself a donation by a wealthy donor.

A great example of an octillo.

Prickly pear -- I honestly think that is thimble peak in back.
These are all barrel cactus. They always lean to the south.

You don't want to sit here on the cactus above. Rather, choose the bench below. 

This is a "Jumping Cholla". Each piece is loosely connected to the others, and they detach easily when you brush by it.
Elaine smelling Cilasote, or Greasewood. It's used for medicine. Sally Price, our friend and private docent, is looking on. 

More prickly pear.  

In case you are unable to read the little sign behind the catcus above.

This is a great example of young saguaro growing under what are called "nursing trees." It provides protection while the saguaro is young. Of course, the saguaro always outlives the nursing trees and old 100 year old saguaro usually stand alone. 
There's a very interesting story here about the Saguaro. The brown thing next to the sign is what forms inside the cactus after a woodpecker hammers through the side and makes her nest. It's cooler in there and provides refuge for other animals.
The park is located very near the left section of the Mount Lemmon range seen here. From time to time, you will catch a glimpse of Thimble Peak.

This is a Cholla -- many of these here.

The tree below is actually a "Prickly pear" tree. They get real huge. 
One got me right on the knee when I was stepping off the trail (a big No No") to get a better picture of some tourists looking at a spectacular crested saguaro. You'll see the picture later.

This is an old Indian sundial.  

We were told what this was. Look closely at the little spiral  things. 

And below is another mammilaria, but magnificent.
This looks like Teddy Bear cholla. We saw lots of this in the Saguaro National Park.
This looks like a nursing cactus, above young saguaro.
Because of the shape of the covering of the nest, they are called boots. They last long after the cactus dies. Above is a great example of a saguaro outgrowing its nursing tree.
This must be an organ pipe cactus. Note the many stems from the base. Truly a fantastic crested saguaro. Almost human in its appearance.  Need I say more. The "eyes", the crown.
I wasn't the only one interested in this plant. This is where I stepped off the path and got stabbed by a Jumping Cholla. It took Elaine many tries to get the spines out of my knee.
Sally pointed out that that little bud next to the two larger arms might be the next arm that protrudes from this saguaro. The development of arms doesn't take place until the saguaro is 70 years old. If I were a saguaro, I would be armless!

There is another page,  Tohono Chul Park II .
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