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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.
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.
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.
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).
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.