Today Dave and I had a great lunch at the Garden Bistro at Tohono Chul (desert corner), complete with prickly pear lemonade, and then strolled the beautiful grounds.
It was a warm, windy day with incredible cloud formations. We sat outside on the Bistro's patio and the temperature was just delightful, as was our meal. Some staffing problems caused a longer than usual wait, but the manager was very generous and we left with a good taste in our mouths....
The grounds of Tohono Chul are beautiful. They invite you to discover the Sonoran Desert's Nature, Art and Culture. We walked the Saguaro Discovery loop stopping along the way to read placards about how important these giants are to the Tohono O'odham people. The yearly calendar revolves around the Saguaro cycles, their seeds, fruit and structure are important for food, religious rituals, as teaching examples, for shelter and more.
One huge unusually crested guy standing on the top of a hill caught our eye immediately. It will be interesting to watch as it continues to grow, new arms appear to be growing out of the crest, I wonder where they'll go?
My only complaint was that the provided map is pure fancy.....it bears little resemblance to the actual layout and we had to ask for directions several times. The unintended consequence of that, however, is that we wandered around more than we would have, had we known where we were actually going.
That was a good thing, we noticed lots of things we may not have otherwise.
|the lacy skeleton of a prickly pear cactus|
|the top of a small saguaro was sliced off, allowing us to see its structure|
|nature is always interesting, but not always beautiful.....|
|Lord Bank sniffs Lady Banks Rose......|
spicy he pronounces
We spent quite a bit of time bird watching. We spied a pair of beautiful hawks in a tree in the riparian garden. I managed to get a few bad pictures of them. Enough, I hoped, to at least identify them. Nope!
Our best guess is that they may have been Grey Hawks....any thoughts?
Hummingbirds zoomed in and out of trees and into brilliantly colored flower beds in the hummingbird garden. Tiny gnatcatchers with very large voices flitted from branch to branch as we walked along. They were entirely too busy to hold still for a photograph.
A pair of cactus wrens were busy picking bugs out of a stand of cactus and then working hard to dismantle another bird's nest. They'd hang upside down on it and pull the nesting material out and toss it on the ground. We're easily amused.
We enjoyed our visit immensely. Tohono Chul afforded us a quiet and low key way to spend the day.
We were too full from lunch to eat dinner when we got home but we sat outside and had a bit of happy hour with Lewis. He so enjoys happy hour.
|every night, without fail, the mat tries to hide Lewis' fish|