Arizona Sonora Desert Museum

I'd been looking forward to a trip to the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum for a couple of weeks now. Glen and Mother were all excited, and they were over early Sunday morning. Julia didn't feel well due to a back ailment. We missed her company, though I'm sure Max the dog was glad not to be 'home alone'. We did have Shayna, a new friend of ours, with us. Her enthusiasm was delightful.

One of the docents was showing everyone a tarantula. Glen and I came in close to take its picture, but Shayna shied away from it. Later, she was happy to see the picture playback on the little screen, though. She could handle a picture of one, however. The docent was fearless, however. Note her very bare, non glove covered hands!

The snake and reptile exhibits didn't creep Shayna out, though. They had several varieties of snakes, some of which were napping in hard to see corners of their little niches. This lizard seemed an alert and curious sort, however.

A small area of the museum is devoted to under water critters. The otters were hiding very well, so we couldn't see them. But this fish with graceful fins was inquisitive.

This docent showed us skulls of diverse animals so we could compare them. She had assembled a deer skull and a toothy beaver skull, and showed us how the jaw of this puma skull worked.

There are two viewing areas for the mountain lions. From an enclosed area, with a one way window, we saw this mountain lion and his partner up close. Shayna was in absolute awe of these big cats. Yet, another visitor warned her that any attempts to pet them would likely be quite hazardous. From that vantage point, this fellow was silhouetted against the bright sky. So we went around to the open air viewing area. It appears that there an opening in the rock behind him. But it is the mirror side of the before mentioned glass that is reflecting the sky. He was quite small from where we were standing. So that 10x zoom capacity came in handy.

My favorite furry critters at the living museum are the prairie dogs. Three of them were out frolicking in the warm spring air. Perhaps the footfall vibrations of nearing visitors frightened them, for on cue, all three at once hit their tunnels and disappeared. Gradually they reappeared.

This duck was surprisingly playful, for when held the camera poised to take her picture, mid click, she stuck her rump up high in the air!

Another of my favorites is the hummingbird aviary. In one sun-blessed area, there were at least a half dozen people poised, gripping all varieties of photographic equipment, waiting for the tiny rapid birds to pose. This tiny guy wasn't in the 'sweet spot', so he's somewhat dark against the sky.

If this rapid hummingbird flapped his wings any faster, he would have disappeared!

Here's one parting shot of Glen with his camera.

© Joan Ann Lansberry, 1999
Our 2012 visit to Arizona Sonora Desert Museum
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