Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Larry and Gerry, plus a Desert Museum

RV Bloggers Larry and Gerry of Clark Rambling and we have been trying to get together for a "Lunner" (lunch and dinner) for some time, finally met up Sunday night at Tiny's, about 5 miles from where we are staying.

They'd been there before and had liked the place. The food was good, but let's say the ambiance was getting close to ambulance from all the noise: everybody talking over everybody else, kids screeching, TVs blaring, etc. When we'd finished our meal, we skeedaddled over to our place for chocolate cake and ice cream and some quiet conversation. Very nice indeed. They are good people, and Larry is full of fun stories.

It's always good to meet up with other blogging friends. This is about the third or fourth time we've visited with these guys, and we are looking forward to next year already!

Monday was my day to pick an activity, and I had already selected the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. In fact, that's part of why we chose Justin's Diamond J park for our stay. It's just a few miles from the Museum.

The whole idea of this museum is to showcase the Sonora Desert area. The Sonora Desert is one of four deserts in Arizona, the others being the Chihuahuan Desert (where we live in Benson, and extending into Mexico and New Mexico), the Mohave Desert (southern Nevada and Northeastern Arizona), and the Great Basin Desert (northern Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado). The Sonora Desert is the only one that has the Giant Saguaro cactus as a native plant.

But the Sonora desert has so much more to offer than just this often-caricatured multi-armed cactus. Thus the museum.

While the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum is largely given over to plant life, and rightly so, the native animals are featured as well, and in as natural a setting as can be provided. We were there on a hot spring day (temperatures hitting 94 degrees), so the animals kept hidden as much as possible. We did see the bobcat...
Sleeping on his back in a cool cave.
The coatimundi...
Moving back under cover.
Some deer...
Moving around freely
Lots of prairie dogs...
Lots of these, as well as their babies!
And birds, often with a docent as company:
The Barn Owl

The American Kestrel, the smallest of falcons.

Based on body coloration, this one is a female.
Harris's Hawk. This one was getting tired of being on display.
 But the vegetation actually won out.
Dying saguaro shedding its skin.

Prickly pear blooming in front of saguaro.

Prickly pear in bloom

Cholla blossoms

Ocotillo with red flag blossoms.

Believe it or not, that's a boojum tree!

Anyone for a game of Twister?

Relatively rare crested saguaro.
But my favorite picture of all was taken in a cave mockup where we learned about how caves are formed and what lives there. There was a demonstration of how bats hear, showing how big our ears would have to be to hear what a bat hears:

We enjoyed touring this Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, so much so that we are planning to become members a little later in ... Our Life on Wheels.


  1. Looks like an interesting place to spend the day.

  2. We both agreed that the noise level at Tiny's was beyond comfortable. When were there on a previous visit more snowbirds were in the place. The other day there were many families and lots of kids, plus a lot of other noise. Sundays aren't a good time to be there for a quiet lunner.

    The company was good and it was nice seeing you guys again. Enjoy the rest of your short trip and the longer one in the future. Stay safe out there.

    We hope Suzy'a appointment went well today.

  3. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum one of our favorite Museums. We were just talking to friends about the San Diego Zoo that they will be visiting. We told them the the Desert Museum is as amazing as the SD Zoo. We got to see the Raptor Flight program. How amazing those birds are. Glad you enjoyed your day.

  4. So far, that is my favorite museum in the country.

  5. That museum is also one of our favorite places. But I haven't seen the variety of blooming cacti and unusual shapes you published. Great photography!

  6. Love the birds of prey...and the Barn Owl was my favorite...

  7. Always great when a plan finally comes together. We really enjoyed that museum:)


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