Saturday, May 6, 2017

2017 CROSS-COUNTRY ROAD TRIP - APRIL 21ST, 2017 - ARIZONA SONORA DESERT MUSEUM - PART 1

Friday, April 21st, 2017  


We started early today and left the hotel at 7:20 a.m. The odometer reading is 51642.




We want to go to the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum. It opens at 7:30 a.m.


We have got our hats and water at the ready.  We needed it and still haven't gotten used to that heat yet.


We are passing hillsides full of cacti.  It is incredible!


Amazing to walk through this place, and it exceeded all expectations. I saw pretty yellow desert flowers.  






The desert cats were hiding from the heat.  However, there was plenty to keep us occupied for the three-and-a-hall hours we were there. 


They have a Gulf Stingray Exhibit where you can put your arm in a large pool and their curiosity brings them to you.  You pay extra for the stingray experience.  It was a lot of fun to see them swimming around, but first you have to wash your arms right above your elbows at a special sink near the pool, before you are allowed to dunk into the pool.  They were small ones, and even smaller when they arrived at the exhibit.


Here is Gregg with the two ladies at the pool.  


They were volunteers.  You could tell they really loved what they were doing.  One lady was a retired teacher. 


These are called cow nose stingrays and according to the link above, they are regularly debarbed, which is compared with trimming a fingernail.


A few would come and nuzzle my fingers and swim away.  It was an interesting experience, and a fun one.


I never would have thought to find this kind of exhibit at the museum, and it was wonderful dipping my arm into that cool water.


We had our photo taken with Stella, Guardian of the Gulf.


You might recognize a theme here.


If you click on this link you can read interesting facts about these stingrays.

I have more to share but will make it a shorter post for now.   More to follow.

42 comments:

  1. You got really good pictures of the sting rays. I have never seen or heard of a cow nose one, so this is interesting. The cactus flowers are gorgeous!!! Is that big black bird real? By the way, I love your pink sandals!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ginny, I hadn't heard of them before either, only manta rays. I meant to mention that the big bird was a sculpture. It does look real in this photo doesn't it? Thanks for noticing my pink sandals. I have had them for about three years now from a catelogue called Hotter. It is an English company and I was told about them by some English friends as I was having such a hard time finding comfortable shoes to fit my wide foot :). I wear them constantly and have walked miles in these things on this holiday :)

      Delete
  2. Those sting rays are quite beautiful. Nice photos of you and Gregg.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You got some excellent photos of the rays - such a graceful beast. I love the cacti blooms too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you EC, graceful is a great description for them. Happy you enjoyed the flowers too.

      Delete
  4. Looks to me like you two are having a fabulous time! What a great road trip you're having.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is incredible, so many gorgeous sights to enjoy :)

      Delete
  5. How wonderful to get so close to the stingrays. Fabulous experience, Denise. By the way, I too like the pink sandals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Valerie, it really was amazing to feel them touching my hand. Rather magical in fact. And glad you like those sandals of mine. They really are so comfortable.

      Delete
  6. What another exoerience you have added, Denise, touching a stingray. And definitely not something you could easily do if they were not un-barbed!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes indeed Beatrice. We were told all about them being debarbed beforehand. Those ladies really knew their stuff.

      Delete
  7. you are one brave woman touching that sting ray. I love Stella, so cute and am amazed at sting rays in the desert. I have seen the Sonora desert in my mind all my life since it was in almost all the westerns I read. it is on my bucket list that will never happen, so thanks for the viewing of it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was so hot I could have jumped in the pool with them, lol. But good sense prevailed. The cool water around my arm felt great. It is definitely western country around here, I have seen it in all the movies I watched with my dad in years past. Glad you are enjoying it Sandra and you are very welcome.

      Delete
  8. Water--Hats---Ready!!!!!

    Lovely flowers on the cacti.

    If you can let them nuzzle you, why are they called STING Rays, I wonder?

    :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ready! LOL :) Good question LC :)))

      Delete
  9. Denise, what a wonderful road trip, like the yellow desert flowers. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are very welcome Doug and thank you :)

      Delete
  10. It looks like a fun and fascinating place, Denise! I love the stingrays and am glad you got to touch them. And is that a blue heron I see in your second photo? I love this series, thank you so much for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Linda, the very lifelike blue heron is a sculpture. I am very happy you are enjoying the series :)

      Delete
  11. I envy you that trip, love cactus and desert plants and what fun to touch the sting rays. Thanks so much for this virtual day our with you. Take care Diane

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Diane, and you are very welcome :)

      Delete
  12. Those stingrays look quite graceful!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Denise and what a wonderful place to visit, it looked very hot even early in the morning. The cactus are incredible with such wonderful yellow flowers. Loved the Stingrays, I bet it was wonderful to have your arm in the cool water. Enjoying the trip experience. All the best, John

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was very hot John even that early, one of the reasons we went not too long after opening. It was a good idea because by the time we left it was after the noon hour and I was glad to get the air conditioning on in the car, though we had to leave the doors open for a while to let the heat out. I can only imagine what it will be like in the height of summer. Thank you John, and all the best to you too :) Denise

      Delete
  14. Hello Denise. Okay, I hope you're sitting down...did I scare you sneaking up like that, on you? It's been such a long, long time since I paid you a visit. The last time, I remember, you were ill.

    I hope you're doing well. I guess so, well enough to travel. We lived in Tucson for a decade...and Bud and I had a membership to this outdoor museum. We loved to go there and walk. I also enjoyed going thru the gift shop...LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Anni, you do make me smile and thank you so much for visiting. I need to get around more but have been busy trying to keep up. Wonderful that you used to live near the museum. I would love to go there on a regular basis. I loved that gift shop too ;)

      Delete
  15. Denise, I so love that first photo! and I would have loved to visit this place.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Rose, I was thrilled to visit after knowing about it all these years :)

      Delete
  16. That first photo is just lovely, there is a softness to it that contrasts so beautifully with the prickly subjects. The desert would be the last place I would expect to find stingrays. I would find being able to touch one a great adventure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have described it perfectly Pauline and being able to feel them against the hand is an incredible feeling :)

      Delete
  17. Fun times at the museum -- and I remember being in utter awe at those hillsides of cactus as we drove through AZ for the first time. And it is always amazing to see flowering cacti -- thanks for sharing these.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Sallie, you are very welcome. Happy you enjoyed them. We really lucked out seeing everything blooming so beautifully.

      Delete
  18. Thank you so much for your visit and wonderful, encouraging, very appreciated comments, Denise. You are much too kind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel the same about you Kay, and always lovely to catch up on your posts.

      Delete
  19. Such a gorgeous array of photographs.
    It does look hot, so I too would have enjoyed putting my hand and arm in the water.

    All the best Jan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Jan, and that water felt lovely and cool :)

      Delete

I thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I enjoy reading them very much and always try to return a visit. As I do monitor comments it may take a while for them to appear, even quite late depending on what is going on and how much time I am able to spend on the computer.