Photo taken near Monument Valley, Utah

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden

At The Voyager RV Resort, Tucson, Arizona...

We waited a little too late in the day to visit this attraction when we were in Phoenix, so we lost the optimum afternoon sunlight for photos before we were able to see all of the park. If we had realized the size of the gardens, we would have begun our visit a little earlier. 

Let's just say this about the garden: It is beautiful, but you have to like cacti, of which hundreds of varieties are viewable here. It is completely different from the non-desert gardens we've seen like Butchart in Canada or Bellingrath, near Mobile.

It was also a bit too early for the cacti to be blooming, so we missed that. However, the following photos will give you an idea of what to expect, and these are just a sample:

Near the entrance, yuccas made from glass mingle with the real ones and colorful creatures placed about.
Directly across from the glass sculpture was this tasteful arrangement of cacti and rocks.
Rushing as we were to capture as much afternoon light as we could, we failed to record varieties of cacti like this strange one.
Following are photos of other potted plants that were everywhere:

At the risk of seeming unappreciative of the plethora of unusual cacti, the one growing in the copper-colored pot below appeared to have warts. (If that comment isn't evidence of rednecks somewhere in my family tree, I don't know what more proof is needed.)

There are benches in many areas of the park that would definitely be needed to rest if you were to try to see everything in the garden.
Proceeding down the 1.5-miles of paths, I came upon this view of a small mountain just outside the park.

Walking closer, I was able to capture the last golden rays of the sun reflected off the whisker-like needles of these cacti. This is one of my favorite photos of the day.
Turning back to the east, I was able to snap these photos before sunset:

Wonder what strange variety this is?

Who knew there were so many strange varieties of cacti? 

I took the next photos just at sunset, but I still think they're beautiful:

Finally!  A shot of a placard showing the species:  A Black-Spined Prickly Pear (Love the color!)

How about the reflecting pool above with water running through it?

There are a number of sculptures in the garden, mostly quite modern in design. I'm thinking this is a woman who has just gathered some eggs from the chicken coop and is about to cook a great breakfast for the guy. (Yes, I know this is a tasteless redneck remark, but I warned you earlier about that.)

Remember, this is just a fraction of the offerings of this garden; it  is beautifully designed and maintained, and Phoenix has every reason to be proud of it. The last photo is one of many beautiful sunsets we've seen here in Arizona. It is the east end of Camelback Mountain (forming the nose of the camel caricature), near where this garden is located. As the sun slips slowly behind the ancient red rock, we say goodbye to Phoenix and Mesa, but we'll be back, for sure!

Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful life; 
please forgive me if I fail to appreciate it each day as I should.

We don't stop playing because we get old; we get old because we stop playing. 
 ---George Bernard Shaw

"I get up every morning, and I just don't let the old man in." ---Clint Eastwood


  1. No, no, Mike, you've got it all wrong. The sculpture represents a guy who has met the woman of his dreams, and put all of his hard-boiled eggs in one basket as an offering to her, hoping she will agree to become his wife. If she says yes, he will devote his life to her and they will forever remain (remain forever?) a symbol of undying love. You are, obviously, not a hopeless romantic.

    Seriously, these are beautiful photos. As you mentioned, it's interesting to see the regional differences among gardens. I'll bet you a dime to a dollar that Dr. Seuss would have had a grand old time coming up with names for some of these intriguing creatures!

    1. I can be romantic (as I have been instructed to do), but I don't think it comes naturally to the male. Our needs are simple and few, but sometimes we forget that the fastest way to fulfill them may not include traveling a straight road.

  2. What a wonderful place to visit. You took some amazing pictures. This will go on my "to visit" places.

    1. I'm glad you liked them. There is so much more to see; I hope you make this part of your itinerary.

  3. Love your journey, as we have to many of the same spots and have wonderful memories! I fell in love with the west and the forest of cacti....not to mention the fabulous weather! We miss y’all and can’t wIt to see you in May������

    1. I think one of the reasons we did this was due to your contagious enthusiasm. And it was well founded! We're so looking forward to seeing you guys in FBurg, if it works out!


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