Pan, Ernie, Wayne and I took a 30 minute morning ride to the desert museum today. Included in the price of admission are two raptor shows daily. We arrived just in time for the morning one which was already underway when we reached the raptor free flight location. Several owls and hawks were released to fly over the desert and then return, on cue, to their trainer.
Our free flight raptor viewing location left something to be desired as we were looking directly into the morning sun but I was able to capture one fair picture of this red tailed hawk as it soared overhead.
Later in the day, we happened upon one of the bird trainers who had this guy riding on his arm.
|The red tailed hawk a little closer... real close, actually.|
|Wayne trying to play the organ pipe. Ouch.|
The road to the museum, along with the parking lots, are all asphalt today, thank goodness.
|Pam and Ernie on their best behavior.|
I love the desert and native desert cactus is especially fascinating. These two are my favorite pictures from today's desert visit.
The scenery at the desert museum was the star attraction, in my opinion, and there was plenty of scenery here. Up close and far away. And a sky so blue it didn't even seem real and the beautiful colors of the desert made every view appear postcard perfect.
|The Wayner and me|
|Notice the moon in this one.|
Hours passed as the four of us wandered the desert museum pathways and explored the Arizona landscape. We came upon Cat Canyon and saw these two felines perched high in the artificial rocks enjoying the sun and keeping away from the maddening crowd.
More cactus, blue skies and mountain backdrops!
|Saguaro cactus live 150 - 200 years and can weigh up to 10 tons.|
Saguaro is the cactus with "arms".... Birds make their homes inside.
|Wayne, me, Ernie and Pam.|
Rejuvenated by lunch and prickly pear margaritas, Pam looked around to find a large gold colored stone on the counter behind her seat in the Ocotillo Cafe. Convinced she'd found "the Arizona mother lode" she tried to snatch the gold rock to take home. Ernie had to restrain her....
|No, Pam....you must leave the giant gold nugget.|
|Came close to having barrel cactus thorns in his rump.|
Not to be outdone, Pam refused to be held back by this tiny "staff only" sign. All the while I searched for more scenic photo locations.
|Out of control. Get back over here!|
|Notice Ernie had to hold Pam by the shoulders.|
|Me at the Joshua Tree|
|Bighorn sheep at the man made "take out" window|
Tomorrow is New Years Eve.