The next morning, Tuesday 11/25/2013 we had a nice hot breakfast at our hotel, the Best Western Innsuites on N Oracle drive and decided to head out towards the Saguaro National Park (West) and to the Desert Museum. We had read good reviews about the Desert Museum. It is more like a zoo than museum. Cover charge is $20 per person, and it is well worth it. We ended up spending about 4 hours wondering the grounds.
There is an annual pass per family of $75 per year. We found the docents to be knowledgeable and informative. I found out about scorpions, and the harris hawk. We had a very good siting of this mountain lion sitting in the sun. Good kitty.
There were a number of animals I had never seen before: javelinas and coati. Javelinas are NOT pigs (although they sure look hog like to me. Coati's are related to ferrets, but these reminded me of large bear-weasels.
The museum is nicely laid out with concrete winding walkways. The bushes and plants are nicely labeled. And of course there was this saguaro home to a little bird.
I loved how the sun was backlighting this cholla. I had to take the photograph.
This bobcat was fascinated with a squirrel (off picture.)
This litte gray fox was curled up in the sun. My favorite exhibit was the hummingbird aviary.
It was such fun to sit down on one of the benches and watch and listen to the little hummingbirds buzzing around. Hummingbirds are such amazing little creatures.
We shared a burger at the local eatery on the premises. Time flies when you are having fun. Then we decided to go into the National Park and do a quick orientation, as we still had some light. The visitors center consists of restrooms, and a watering station. The visitors center shop and information center has good maps, and you can talk to the rangers to get advice.
We left the Visitors Center and hiked on three short trails to get a sampling: Valley view trail. We spotted a deer amongst the cacti and saguaro's.
We spotted the petroglyphs on the Signal Hill hike.
We ended up back at our hotel after a very satisfying Day Two.