i don’t think i mentioned this yesterday, but i had never been to desert before my trip to phoenix. i sort of figured that it would be dry and that there would be cactus…which of course it was and there are. but i was not expecting it to be so full of color and life. granted…it’s different than in my neck of the woods, but beautiful nonetheless.
nowhere is that more evident than in the desert botanical garden.
upon entering the garden, we were greeted with this colorful chihuly sculpture. then once inside, i discovered just how beautiful cactus can be.
the thing about cactus is this – you have to see it with different eyes. admittedly it’s not lush and verdant like the plants that grow around here, but the form and structure and line is amazing. architectural almost.
and the variety of textures is incredible.
it was great to be there with terri – she lives in phoenix and is a total cactus enthusiast. i loved learning about the basic cactus types like such as barrel, prickly pear, agave, hedgehogs, saguaro, etc.
i especially loved the way the thorns on the agave cactus imprinted on the adjacent leaves.
and if, like me, you thought that cactus were just green, check out these guys!
and speaking of color, there were many flowering plants in the garden.
this one is called a ‘fairy duster’….how adorable is that.
and even flowers that smell like chocolate!
even cactus have flowers! typically they bloom in spring, but this one bloomed just for us (that’s the story i’m telling myself). the color is so vibrant and the petals so delicate – such a beautiful contrast from the tough and spiky plant. nature is so cool like that.
around mid-afternoon we went to the little cafe in the garden for a snack. who knew we’d be sharing it with such adorable friends.
by the time we finished lunch it was around 3:30 and this is when the magic began. the sun had moved into the western sky was washing everything in its golden glow.
it’s one of the many wonderful things about going to places like this photographers…they get it.
before we knew it, the sun was setting. and after a quick trip through the gift shop, we said goodbye to the garden. but not without a few more shots of the glorious, late afternoon light.
at one point during the day, my friend carol said it was like being in a dr. suess book with all the strange shapes and textures. i couldn’t agree more. it was like nothing i had ever seen before.
i’m so grateful for the opportunity to experience the beauty in the desert. tomorrow i’ll share with you the last day of my magical experience.