A botanical garden that also serves as habitat for wildlife?  That is exactly what the Desert Botanical Garden is and I am so very down with that!

Located right outside of the city of Phoenix, Arizona in the Sonora desert, the Desert Botanical Garden is a fun mix of education, hiking, tons of desert vegetation, and local wildlife all without actually braving the desert.  Sounds like a party, right?  I like to party.  I like to get weird with animals.  Let us do this!

I don’t see anything about wearing pants the entire time.  #loophole

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Flora and Fauna

The Desert Botanical Garden isn’t huge, it only took about 1.5 hours to hike the entire thing, which is great for a slug like me, but it is packed with low-impact trails and native flora.

The flora is magnificently cultivated consisting of local plants from the Sonora desert.  A word to the wise, DO NOT EAT THE FLORA!  That crap is all kinds of prickly
Cacti from a variety of species are ubiquitous here.  If that looks like a comfy vegetative recliner I can assure that it is not comfy, but still reclines
The rare and mysterious crested saguaro cactus.  It is unknown why the crest forms on very rare occasions.  On some level I wish my head was shaped like this as I think women would really dig it

While the ample flora is cultivated, the critters that have set up shop at the Desert Botanical Garden are pure glorious wildlife.

A Gila Woodpecker vandalizing a cactus
Round Tailed Ground Squirrels live in a veritable hippy commune on the grounds.  I’m told that they sometimes carry the Plague.  Newsflash:  so do I
Roadrunners were on the muscle looking for tasty lizards and insects to wolf down.  Lemme tell how fidgety this dude was when I was trying to take its picture – it is the all-time league leader in being fidgety!
The water at the Desert Botanical Garden meant for the plants serves as an oasis for thirsty bees.  I shared a drink with them because I have bee street cred like that…not true, they repeatedly stung me in the face

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The Desert Botanical Garden is definitely worth the price of admission for botany lovers, bird watchers, low impact hikers (good for kids as well as the elderly), lovers of nature, and people that just like to get weird with animals (seriously, DO NOT actually get weird with anything here – leave that to the pros). A definite must-do if you are in the area, you have sobered up from a night of withering alcohol abuse, and you don’t want to brave the unknown in the desert (spoiler alert:  there are dead hookers buried out there).

Oh, and if that weren’t enough, the view of the surrounding Sonora desert is absolutely amazing!

The view at the Desert Botanical Garden is amazing!

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