Sunday we visited the Phoenix Botanic Gardens. We looked at cactus and other succulent plants till our brains were full and overflowing with images. Unfortunately, that didn't leave much room for facts about what we were seeing.
At the entrance, these three glass sculptures are in amongst the live cactus (cacti--but I don't like that word). They are called Desert Towers.
The Gardens are full of many kinds of cactus. We focused mainly on the plants of the Sonoran Desert that surrounds us here. This view shows one of the Papago Buttes near the gardens, as well as a beautiful Saguaro and Organ Pipe.
They even provide facilities to help visitors take their own group photo as the tour. Here you see a platform to hold your camera that is turned to a time-delay exposure. There is even a sign so tourists will remember where they were.
Both Apache and O'odham Native Americans lived in this desert. Below you see an Apache Wickiup (with the canvas cover at the top) and an Akimel O'odham Roundhouse. These houses show how local vegetation was used for housing. Other displays show how they used local plants for food and household items.
Before modern settlers diverted much of the Salt and Gila Rivers for irrigation and drinking water, the desert had a lot more flowing water. These wetlands were full of useful plants and wildlife. This stream and willows or bamboo-like reeds made for a pretty picture.
God has made his creation in such marvelous ways that plants provide their own protection. Some cactus plants are covered with hair to provide their own shade.
This is an Old Man Cactus.
This one was only labeled with its Latin name, so I won't bore you with it.
The spines on cactus protect the plants from animals that might want to eat them for water or food. I think they do a pretty good job of that on this Golden Barrel Cactus, don't you?
Some of the cactus reminded us of snakes, often snakes in heaps.
This one looks like a telephone pole that has sprouted leaves. Really it is from the Ocotillo family and is called a Boojum tree.
If I didn't know better, I would say there were green pine cones covered in snow.
Here John is admiring a Fence Post Cactus. You wouldn't want to push through that fence, would you?
This is one last pretty picture. But I don't know what plant it is.