Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

On the way back from driving through the Tonto National Forest on highway 60, milepost 223, we stopped off at the Boye Thompson Arboretum State Park which is located near the Superstition Mountain range...I know that "arbor" has to do with trees, so I knew this must be a special place for desert plants before ever stepping foot in the place. It sure was! We happened to hit on a Sunday where they were selling all kinds of cactus plants and desert plants so the park was packed! There was a 7.50 admission fee per person, but alas, no senior rate...they are open from September thru April from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. There are LOTS of weekly walks, special events, photo classes, bird walks, edible and medicinal desert plant talks, all kinds of interesting things. How about a "Gourd Art Class"? Or a "dog socialization walk"? There's even a "Plants of the Bible Guided Walk" and sometimes live music!...But we just went exploring on our own today.

The park has several walking trails that have wide paths thru designated types of deserts and forests such as a eucalyptus forest. There was an Australian "walkabout" area that had interesting carvings, and a stone maze. There were statues in the park that were beautiful artwork. There were fountains and plenty of resting places to sit and enjoy the beauty all around. It was very informative as most of the plantings had the botanical names in front of them so you could learn more about these desert plants. The cacti are about ready to bloom. I had no idea the blooms were so beautiful coming out of these prickly cactus! All the cactus are shooting up either tall stalks with blooms on the ends of them, or budding at the tips like the prickly pear cactus.
concentric ripples on this circular fountain

The park also had beautiful stone tiles marking different sections of the gardens.

AND, they had a hummingbird garden that attracted some of the prettiest hummingbirds I have seen...There was also one particular flowering tree/bush that had some beautiful butterflies swarming all over it. It was a mesclun tree. I guess the berries are extremely poisonous if you were to chew them, as in you'd be DEAD.
Butterfly on a mesclun tree/bush
I'm really learning a lot about the desert climate while we are here in Arizona...the Sonoran Desert climate, to be exact. It's an interesting temperature variation that's pretty consistent here every day. The temperatures start very cool in the morning (from the desert cool down the night before), and then it keeps warming up all day long...it gets hotter and hotter as the afternoon continues on. Then around about five o'clock, a breeze usually starts up and the temperatures drop very quickly. By sunset, temperatures are down to between the 60's and 70's....very pleasant! However, we had a cold front pass through today, and with the rain came cooler temperatures--fifties this afternoon! (Sparky is enjoying the cool down from the nineties a couple of days ago!) Eldy keeps threatening to take me to the mountains so I can get my snow fix, but I'm ok with this cool down for now....We'll see what the weather brings the rest of this week.....   Bye for now.....

No comments:

Post a Comment