Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Catalina State Park & Tucson Botanical Gardens

We had a fantastic day doing the tourist thing.

We started the day traveling about 25 miles north of the city to Catalina State Park to look up friends we had met in Quartzsite.  They were in the process of moving to another camp ground, so we decided to explore the park.  It has tons of hiking trails and beautiful scenery.


The southwestern part of AZ has lots of Saguaro Cactus.  They can live to be over 100 years old. They grow about 1 inch a year.


The weather has been a bit chilly and we had snow in the mountains as you can tell from the picture.  P1010263






Mike on the hiking trail in the state park. 

When we finished the park we went to the Tucson Botanical Gardens.  Inside the gardens is a indoor exhibit or live tropical butterflies.  The Butterflies in the Exhibit came from tropical region along the equator


The butterfly in the photo above is a Blue Morpho.


This is the same butterfly with the wings open. 

DSC_0027-1 Paper Kite Butterfly


Not sure what the butterfly on the left is but the one on the right is a Zebra Longwing.

DSC_0029-1 P1010304 Christmas Butterfly

DSC_0017-1 Julia Butterfly


This is the emergence room.  The butterflies are shipped in cocoon form.  The butterflies life span is generally 1-3 weeks.  There are a few species that may live up to 18 months. 

Onto the gardens which were privately owned at one time.  Over 5 acres of cactus and flowers from not only the US but South Africa, Argentina, Peru and Chile just to name a few.  P1010312

Red Spiked Ice Plant from South Africa.


Cape Aloe, South Africa


We took tons of pictures but I will only post a few.  The weather is warming up and the sun is shinning.  A beautiful day in the desert. 

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