Arizona Sonora Desert Museum and Saguaro National Park
We spent a fairly uneventful month in Tucson, Arizona visiting Annette's sister, Allison and exploring the area. The highlight of our time in Tucson was the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum and the Saguaro National Park. Annette had visited these places numerous times over the years, but this time we spent more time and explored more of the exhibits.
Arizona Sonora Desert Museum
The Desert Museum is a private, world-renowned zoo and natural history museum. The museum contains interpretive displays containing more than 300 animal species and 1200 kinds of plants. Two miles of paths take you through beautiful desert settings. Having done lots of desert walking, we were eager to know more about the names of the cactus that we'd been seeing including the specific types of prickly pear, agave, cholla, barrel, ocotillo, and other cactus. We were also interested in being able to identify the various types of bushes and small trees such as the palo verde and mesquite.

In addition to the plants, the museum had lots of interesting animals including the javelina, river otter, and coati.

Harris Hawk Show
One of the most interesting aspects of the park are the live demonstrations. At 10:30 AM and 1:30 PM are the Raptor Free Flight demonstrations featuring the Harris Hawk in free flight. Sue, the raptor keeper, created an award winning documentary on the raptors.

Saguaro National Park
The Saguaro National Park protects the animals and plants of the Sonoran Desert including the famous saguaro cactus. In this hot, dry area, only 12 inches of rain falls each year. In addition to the cactus the area is teeming with life including birds and many small animals.
As we drove and hiked the area, we practiced our catcus and other plant identification skills. We also saw lots of birds and lizards.

Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 7/01.
Updated 5/02.
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