My Obsession With Agave Gardens in Tucson

If you’re visiting Tucson, I highly recommend you check out the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. It’s a hybrid botanical garden and zoo designed to educate visitors about the Sonora Desert.

While you can’t go ten feet without seeing a saguaro cactus in Tucson and the Saguaro National Park is well worth visiting, at the Desert Museum, I re-discovered my passion for agave. Here’s a photo post with my best shots from their Agave Garden.

I am usually good about taking a photo of the placard next to each plant so I can remember the name of it, but there were a couple I couldn’t find. Can you help me name them?

I’m thinking of printing one or more of these. Which agave photo do you like best? I’d love it if you’d drop me a note in the comments. Thanks!

Now on to the agave…

Twin Flowered Agave

 

Bald Agave

 

Hohokam Agave

 

I’ve named this agave Pink Tucson Agave, but maybe you know its real name?

 

What’s the name of this Agave? I’ve named it Tucson Agave for now.

 

If you are visiting Arizona, I recommend you take time to visit Tucson. It’s a fun city with lots of great art, food, drink and outdoor activities. I have certainly enjoyed my time here.

Hello From Steller’s Jay

Hey, Pay Attention!, Steller’s Jay, at Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson, Arizona

This little Steller’s Jay flew past my head as I crouched down to take a photo of another bird. He landed at my feet and proceeded to hop around to get my attention. For a moment, I thought he might peck my toes. It was really cute how he cocked his head and looked up at me.

Then he flew up to a nearby pillar and sat really still while I took a few shots.

Hello, Steller’s Jay, at Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson, Arizona

When I sat down next to him, he sang me a little song. Then he pecked at the brass ties on my shirt. I’m guessing his song was something like “feed me, feed me, please, I’m hungry.” I imagined I still smelled like the Thanksgiving dinner I had enjoyed earlier.

The behavior of this Steller’s Jay is true to form. According to the Cornel Lab website, these birds:

…are bold, inquisitive, intelligent, and noisy. Steller’s Jays spend much of their time exploring the forest canopy, flying with patient wingbeats. They come to the forest floor to investigate visitors and look for food, moving with decisive hops of their long legs.

Mr. Steller’s Jay, you inquisitive investigator you, what wisdom do you have for me?

“You never know what you might learn if you ask more questions!”

My cousins would tell you that asking questions is something I’ve been doing since I was a little child. However, it’s worth remembering.

Nature Photography

Whenever I photograph birds or animals, I always send out loving vibes to let them know I appreciate them. I think it calms them and lets them know I mean them no harm. I also think it calms and centers me, enabling me to take better photos.

Nature photography is not easy. It’s an exercise in patience. The animals have minds of their own and sporadic actions, which means it’s challenging to catch them in the right light and frame them perfectly.

Whenever I visit a garden or zoo with an aviary, I like to practice my skills. It’s a pleasant way to spend an hour or so, and if I’m lucky, I might come home with a shot or two that I’m willing to save.