Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Desert Botanical Gardens: Part 1

As our flight back to Houston wasn't until 4:00 pm, we had made reservations for the Desert Botanical Gardens for Thursday morning. The reservations were necessary because the gardens were hosting an exhibition of glass sculptures by Chihuly and this was attracting large numbers of visitors.
The gardens are located in Papago Park, which is dotted with stunning sandstone hills.

Some of the sculptures were very striking.



However, we both felt that they generally couldn't compete with the amazing plants that surrounded them.










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Not surprisingly, the gardens attract a lot of birds, including many species that you don't usually associate with desert habitat. It was a little disconcerting to see House Finches and European Starlings perching on saguaro cactuses.


House Finches


European Starling

Of course, there were lots of more typical desert birds around. Like us, these children were very excited to see Abert's Towhees and Gambel's Quail foraging near the outdoor cafe.


Abert's Towhee

Male Gambel's Quail

Female Gambel's Quail


We saw a lot of other birds, too, but I'll put photos of those in my next posting.

2 comments:

Birdwoman said...

Each time I see one of your posts with pictures, I think, "Well, he won't be able to top this." Then, with the next post, you do! Just beautiful.

Jeff said...

It isn't too hard producing reasonable photos when the subject matter is so beautiful. I think Dee and could visit the Desert Botanical Gardens 8 hours a day for a week and still want/need to go back for more.