Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tues. Feb. 2, 2010 - AZ-Sonora Desert Museum

Where the desert comes alive!!!! I'll let you know right now...this was the most photos we have taken anywhere and I had to choose only the following for the blog.. We arrived at 9:30a.m. on a 73 degree was just perfect and we stayed til 3 p.m. only leaving so we could make our way thru the Gate Pass on our way back to the RV. This was the first bird we were shown on our way into the museum. None of our photos do justice to just how beautiful everything was.... The colors are magnificent has to be seen in pack you bags...

This barn owl was trying so hard to go to sleep... just kept closing his eyes and looked so bored that we were keeping him up.

As I said...everywhere you look there is beauty. This is looking out over the desert with one of the birds from the Rapton Free Flight event making it's way back to it's handler.

It takes about 30 min. to walk to the free flight area and on the way we soaked in all the beauty around us. The blooms on the top of this cactus is just the beginning of what is to come in about a month. We have been told that because there has been so much rain here...the desert flowers will be just magnificent. We are so excited for that to happen.

I was able to get very close to all the birds as they landed on this tree near the handler. One by one was brought out and lifted off their handlers arm. We were asked NOT to put out hands/arms in the air as the birds will come very close....

Here the handler is launching a bird

And down it came to our area.

brushed by all these people and even touched some hair and hats...

They put food on the branches of the trees so all the birds came close for photo opts.

After we watched the prairie falcons dive from high in the sky, or Harris' hawks soar tog. we started our adventure thru the rest of the desert museum and all it had to offer.

Most of you know I love we headed for the Hummingbird Aviary. This world famous exhibit lets you walk freely among several species of native hummingbirds. These harmless hoverers whisk by our heads and sat within 6 inches from us on branches.

This is just one of the hummers sitting on her nest...made from spider webs so that when her one or two babies hatch and start to grow...the spider webbing will stretch.. I always wondered how they fit in that little tiny nest and not fall out too soon.

I know you can't read this...but these were just some of the species in this house. The keeper told us that there were 17 hummers in the aviary ...but there have been as many as 40.

This little fella was sitting about 6 inches from Keith ear. He wasn't afraid at all and his coloring was so brillient.

By 11:30 we made our way to the restaurant area where there were 4 to choose from; The Ironwood Terraces , Phoebe's Coffee Bar, The Cottonwood and Ocotillo Cafe...

After looking at the menu...Keith chose the Ocotillo Cafe'

Happy to sit down for awhile and talk about all we'd seen so far and what we wanted to see after lunch.

We both ordered the quiche with bacon, cheese and onion and fresh fruit drizzled with a sweet raspberry vinegrette .. A hard crusted bread was served with a bright green herb and celantro pesto ..Needless to say everything was just yummy.

This restaurant featured Sonoran cuisine in a fine-dining atmosphere. We could choose indoor or patio dining.

We chose to eat inside but could view everything outside though the full glass walls.
Over 100 species of cactus and other desert plants are grown in this landscaped setting.

There was a Walk-iin Aviary where Cardinals, Gambel's quail, ducks, doves and nearly 40 other species of native birds live together in this avian sanctuary.

There was a tortoise exibit, but we didn't see a one....but this one was easy to see and didn't go anywhere.

The Bighorn exhibit lets you see these large sheep in a naturalistic environment, dancing along rocks ledges.

Fishes and Amphibians: Fish in the desert? there are 35 species of native fish in Arizona alone.

There were 2 parrots in this exhibit....thought of Marj and her birds when this guy was so friendly.

Just another spectacular view across the desert.

We were advised to take the scenic route thru Gate Pass to get back to I-10. So glad we did.. The views were amazing.

We twisted and weaved our way thru the pass. You are not allowed to take your RV thru this pass. And now we know why....NO GUARD RAILS....!

This was the view from my seat in the Honda going down the pass.... see, no guard rails.
We arrived back at the RV at 5 p.m.... had a bite for supper and went to the hot tub to relax...What a way to end a perfect day? So glad we allowed the whole day for the desert museum.

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