The day after we arrived in Phoenix, everybody trekked to the Desert Botanical Garden (DBG).
This is a 55-acre garden with desert plants from around the world. They also have a current art installation of animal sculptures made out of recycled plastic – hence the prairie dogs. There are also a number of Chihuly glass sculptures, including the representation of a cactus in green glass, above.
Purple Prickly Pear – that’s something new.
Those golden thorns are very striking.
This makes me think of a sack full of prickly snakes, except for all the green fruits.
The Phoenix area has numerous red sandstone buttes, and some of these can be found on the grounds of the DBG.
I was told that this is a Saguaro cactus, which grows only in the Sonoran Desert (southwest Arizona, northwest Mexico, and a little piece of California).
A mass of Prickly Pear balances out a big blue Agave.
Some unripe fruits, resembling odd canapés, on a Barrel Cactus.
Those are Organ Pipe Cacti to the right.
Those snakey-looking Cacti lying about are known as Creeping Devils. I can imagine how they got their name.
There was almost nothing by way of flowers at the time we visited. Apparently the desert here blooms mostly in February=March. However, these purple fruits added a nice touch of color.
You can’t see it very well, but there’s a woodpecker perched on the top of that Saguaro. Many Saguaros have holes, excavated by woodpeckers and leading to nests. We also saw other wildlife at DBG: hummingbirds, quail, a possible hawk and some songbirds I couldn’t name. No pictures,though.
Beckee is very excited about this giant snail. Did I mention she used to be a cheerleader?
Visiting DBG is an easy way to learn about desert plants. I hope to visit again on future trips to Phoenix.