Sheila and I visited the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum today - something I've wanted to do for some time. Unfortunately, on the way there, we got stopped by a car crash and the sheriff had closed the road. So we had to go all the way around the other side of the mountain to get to the museum. The museum - really a zoo - is set in the rolling hillside of an adjacent parcel of land next to the Saguaro National Park (West), near Tucson. Showcased, are animals and plant life typically found in the Sonoran Desert, which extends from northern Mexico up as far north as the Tucson area. The land is covered with saguaro, cholla, barrel and prickly pear cactus - plus many others. A guy from New York asked the naturalist at the visitor center whether anything was dangerous where he intended to hike. The naturalist replied, "everything - it will either stick you or sting you or bite you." There are four varieties of rattlesnake, scorpions, paper wasps, bees, cactus thorns, ocotillo thorns - well, basically, every plant has thorns. Despite that, there are several trails throughout the park and one merely needs to watch where they are going. Tripping during a hike would really hurt, as the cacti are packed tightly together on both sides of the trails.
Pictured abve is a mountain lion we ran into on one of the trails - well, actually, one of the trails in the desert museum! There is a brother and sister on display in a very natural-looking enclosure. Don't think I'd like to run into this guy at night!