Botanical Mind

Superior Travel Blog

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US60 to Superior, AZ

Growing up my dad knew everything...no, he absolutely knows EVERYTHING.  Which if I had known any better probably would have been daunting, but it wasn't...it was just his way.  I learned at an early age that when you ask Dad a question you will get an answer alright, but not just any answer, more like the Encyclopedia Britannica's answer complete with linguistic histories and its natural evolution through the ages so come prepared to listen for a good long while.  These windy explanations may explain why my students get that glazed over look in their eye whenever I run a tangent in science...hmmmm...  Nature be damned...it's nurture all the way!

Anyway, Dad was fond of 'exploring' as he called it.  I was born in Tucson General, but lived many of my formative years in Michigan on the water-which oddly enough I loathe.

Eucalypt
  We lived on a small fresh-water island about a mile deep and a quarter-mile thick.  Honestly, it was just separated from the mainland by a thin strip of marsh but you needed a bridge to get to it and we were the only house on the island anymore.  Lake Erie Metro Park had bought out the other houses to demolish long before we got there to stay with my ailing grandfather.  Dad and I would go out to explore the botanical treasures Cherry Island had to offer like Touch-Me-Nots, Duckweed and cultivated varieties of Narcissus and tulip left behind by the long-gone homes that used to shelter them.  So it stands to reason that when I visit my dad it becomes a trip to see the local vegetation as well. 

I'd been to the Brice Thompson Arboretum before and paid attention to their Australian station exhibit among the gum trees before venturing to that vast continent in 2007.

Roadrunner & Coyote
  But even with having just been there, being under the eucalyptus reminded me more of being a little girl in California with red gums in the back yard and their lovely menthol scent that stirs when you walk underneath.  they are a terribly messy plant with their bark strewn all around and branches covering the rest, but they're quiet and knowing and fantastically old.  Should I live in Arizona again, I will have a eucalypt or several.

The gum trees were not the only scented plant to bring back forgotten memories.  As I mentioned before, I was born in Tucson and we lived in Marana which is on its outskirts.  The closer to Yuma you get, the stronger the creosote smells become.

Boababs or Bujums
  Where the gums give off a calming scent the creosote sends off this sickeningly sweet odor.  This smell alone brings me back smack dab in the middle of my 5th year when chasing millepedes into the rocks and trying to put salt on roadfunners' tails were the things to do.  It also reminds me of the phrase 'ants in your pants' and why I tune in immediately on a more personal level...whole other story, though ;)

The park itself is a display of the plants found in the world's deserts.  The labels are well distributed among the palms, cacti and succulents; if you happen to miss one there will be another soon enough.  In the middle of the the pickly pear 'trees' and barrel cacti stands one lone boabab tree (the infamous enemy in the story the Little Prince).

Striking Similarities
  In the last year, disease must have taken its mate as there were two the year before. 

In its entirety, the trail maybe spans seven miles or more but they're all worth seeing.  Some of the plants are breathtaking year-round and some are just plain mystifying how they have adapted to survive scorching hot summers and chilly winters alike.  Arizona is its own biodome altogether and is worth a visit or a stay.

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US60 to Superior, AZ
US60 to Superior, AZ
Eucalypt
Eucalypt
Roadrunner & Coyote
Roadrunner & Coyote
Boababs or Bujums
Boababs or Bujums
Striking Similarities
Striking Similarities
Hey, thats me!
Hey, that's me!
Western Australia???  Thats what …
Western Australia??? That's what…
Brice Thompson Arboretum
Brice Thompson Arboretum
Father-Daughter
Father-Daughter
Fun Texture
Fun Texture
Inspiration for Scarecrow?
Inspiration for Scarecrow?
another Texture Study
another Texture Study
Telling Time
Telling Time
Tiny Dino Skull??
Tiny Dino Skull??
Varegated Agave
Varegated Agave
Blood Thorn
Blood Thorn
Grounds Study
Grounds Study
golden Barrels in the Sun
golden Barrels in the Sun
Agave
Agave
More Barrels
More Barrels
Another timepiece
Another timepiece
More flowers
More flowers
Sponsored Links
Superior
photo by: poorogies