Tag Archives: phoenix botanical garden

Better With Friends

photographers at phoenix desert botanical gardenWe visited the Phoenix Botanical Garden with our friends John and Chris. They both love to take pictures and are always looking for interesting things to photograph. Some experiences are better with friends. Because I was with John and Chris I saw all kinds of things I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. 

road runner

Like this roadrunnerground squirrel at phoenix botanical gardenThis ground squirrel

gambel's quail

A Gambel’s Quailpapago butte looks like a turtleThis is one of the Papago Buttes visible from the gardens. It looks like a giant turtle. Notice the turtle head on the left and the huge shell. John and Chris photographed this butte from every angle. 

I learned to know many different kinds of cacti. organ pipe cactus

The Organ Pipe

bunny ear prickly pear cactus

The Bunny Ear Prickly Pear Cactus. Chris told me there are 360 kinds of prickly pear cactus. potts barrell cactus

the Potts Barrel Cactustotem pole cactus

the Totem Polethe red torch cactus

the Red Torch Cactusthe grizzly bear prickly pear cactus

the Grizzly Bear Prickly Pear Cactussenita cactus

the Senita

red spine barrel cactus

the Red Spine Barrel Cactusstrawberry cactus

and the Strawberry Cactus

cardon treeHere Chris and I pose in front of what looks like an Organ Pipe Cactus but  is really a Cardon Tree. lunch in the phoenix botanical garden

Of course lunch in the Patio Cafe was better with friends too. 

friends at botanical gardenI’m glad I visited the Desert Botanical Gardens with my friends John and Chris. 



Filed under Arizona, Nature

A Boot On His Nose

saguaro bootWhat does my husband Dave have on his nose?  It is a boot.  A boot from a saguaro cactus.  When birds like gila woodpeckers build nests in saguaros they chisel out holes in the cactus.  The nest cavity is fairly deep so the baby birds will be hidden from view after they hatch. The saguaro creates a kind of hard callus around the wound created by the nest cavity. Since the bird has damaged it’s tissue the cactus must protect itself. So it secretes a resinous sap that, over time, hardens into a bark-like shell that prevents the cactus from losing fluid and also protects the nest hole by making it waterproof.

nest hole in saguaro cacti

You can see a nest hole in this saguaro. When the saguaro dies and its soft outer flesh rots the hard callus remains behind in the shape of a boot. Long ago native Americans used these saguaro boots for storage containers.


We learned about saguaro boots on our visit this week to the Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden.  I was lucky enough to get a couple of photos of a woodpecker at work building a nest in a saguaro cactus as we walked along the trails.


gila woodpecker phoenix
We learned lots of other cool things at the Botanical Gardens which I will write about in other posts.

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Filed under Arizona, Nature