Boyce Thompson Arboretum

Sharon and Barb and Stella, Boyce Thompson Arboretum

On my second day in Arizona, Sharon, Barb, Stella and I had a magnificent hike through Boyce Thompson Arboretum, which we visited for the first time last year. I thought it was where Dad, Shirley, Sandra and I had visited in the late 90s, but no, it wasn’t the same place. I just remember Dad pronouncing arboretum as aboratorium.

A tree

The Boyce Thompson is just gorgeous. Sort of like the Desert Botanical Garden, but a little more park-like and family friendly. The picnic area attracts a lot of cardinals, which of course attracts Sharon.

Some sort of Seussian Succulent
My first spotting of a lizard in the wild (I think)

Although we brought a picnic lunch, it was apparently family day and the fundraiser hotdogs were cheap and delicious. I consider myself mostly vegetarian, but a holiday hotdog is not to be missed.

“Rattlesnakes Only Beyond This Point”
UCP please proceed…

The multiple trails were really lovely, although it takes some effort to keep the dog away from the cacti. It was also hot. A perfect, blue sky day. We saw a bunch of cardinals and phainopepla (which look like small, black cardinals), lizards and a tortoisescape at the lake. My iPhone camera was OK, but no closeups.

We followed it up with a return to one of my favourite places from last year – Queen Creek Olive Mill. We ate our delicious dinners (like last year, I had a tray of amazeballs bruschetta) under a grove of olive trees, serenaded by grackles.

And then, as always, Stella’s daily walk to the civic centre about 10 minutes from their place for a dip in the fountain.

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