Branson vacation

Branson vacation
Branson Vacation

Monday, February 15, 2016

Visit to Boyce Thompson Arboretum

Our friends Ron and Patsy are members of the Boyce Thompson Arboretum and have been there several times this winter. They enjoy taking photos of the many plants, trees and cacti there. Glenda and I hadn't been there before so last week we went with Ron and Patsy to check it out. Their websites states
"Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park is the place to discover the intricate beauty and many faces of Arizona's oldest and largest botanical garden. Featured are plants from the world's deserts, towering trees, captivating cacti, sheer mountain cliffs, a streamside forest, panoramic vistas, many natural habitats with varied wildlife, a desert lake, a hidden canyon, specialty gardens and more.

The Arboretum was founded in the 1920s by mining magnate Col. William Boyce Thompson. In 1917 Col. Thompson served as co-leader of a Red Cross mercy mission to Russia, where he came to understand the importance of plants as the ultimate source of a large portion of mankind's food, clothing, and shelter. It was then, that he determined to use his great wealth to improve the use of plant resources. The Arboretum is one of his legacies.

Encompassing 323 acres, the Arboretum is Arizona's oldest and largest botanical garden. It was the first purely botanical institution in the inter-mountain states. The Arizona State Parks Board entered into agreement with the Boyce Thompson Arboretum Board and the University of Arizona in 1976 to cooperatively manage the Arboretum."

There are different membership levels with different benefit levels.
$50 Dual Membership
  • Unlimited admission 364 days a year for two adults!
  • Two complimentary guest passes ($20 value)
  • 10% discount on gift shop and plant purchases
  • Member newsletter
  • Exclusive member-only events
  • Discount on classes and lectures
  • Personalized membership card
$75 Household Membership
  • Free admission for Children/grandchildren under 18
  • Four complimentary guest passes ($40 value)
  • Includes all of the above benefits
$100 Contributor
  • Six complimentary guest passes ($60 value)
  • Recognition in member newsletter and Annual Report
  • Includes all of the above benefits
$250 Boojum Club
  • Six complimentary guest passes ($60 value)
  • Recognition in member newsletter and Annual Report
  • Subscription to Desert Plants magazine
  • Includes all of the above benefits
$500 Picket Post Society
  • Six complimentary guest passes ($60 value)
  • 15% discount on gift shop and plant purchases
  • Invitation to Director's special tour and dinner
  • Subscription to Desert Plants magazine
  • Includes all of the above benefits
$1,000 Director's Circle
  • Six complimentary guest passes ($60 value)
  • Subscription to Desert Plants magazine
  • 20% discount on gift shop and plant purchases
  • Includes all of the above benefits
We got there around noon and explored as much of the arboretum as we could. There's a gist shop, Visitor's center, exhibits and hiking trails.

We started off on the main trail and followed it around to the bridge over Queen Creek. You should allow yourself about 2 hours to complete the loop. There are additional trails off the main trail to hike.










The trail is not roughed but you should wear sturdy shoes along with light colored clothing. Depending on how much hiking and how much time you want to spend there, you might consider taking some water too.

If you go to the Arboretum website you'll find a rich history of the arboretum and the Sonoran Desert.

As we hiked we came across several gardens....The Children's Garden, Cactus Garden, Australian Desert, Herb Garden and Legume Garden. It's still a little early for the cactus to flower but the gardens are still wonderful to view. We have a little more time here so a return trip is in order.









One of the gardens has a number of Red Gum Eucalyptus trees that are very large and majestic.



It was amazing to see all the different species of cactus and plants from all over the world.





We saw the Picketpost house on the property and there were several pavilions with great views.




 
As we came around the back side of the arboretum and toward the gardens, we saw a small pond. As we approached the pond a Coot came out of the reeds to greet us. He was definitely looking for a hand out. Once he saw we had nothing he swam back into the reeds.




This is just a sampling of the photos I took. I think I took about 200 photos while we were there. I won't bore you with every one of them. I will just say I couldn't help taking more and more photos as we rounded every corner. This is a place we intend to come back too. I will just add a few more photos from our excursion.








We had such a great time exploring and can't wait to go back and see more. There are additional trails to explore and things to see. Thanks to our friends, Ron and Patsy for turning us onto this little piece of paradise in SW Arizona.



In honor of Valentine's Day this tree is called the Marriage Tree. You can see the trunks entwined together as it grew.

A wonderful representation of marriage and the joining of two people that grow together over time making the tree stronger and more beautiful.







5 comments:

  1. What a beautiful looking place. When are we going? See you Wednesday.

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    Replies
    1. We may have to make a trip there next month. Dave would probably OD on photo taking. Ha-ha

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  2. Nice pictures Curt. Looks like something else to add to the list of things to do next month!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks....Definitely worth the trip. Wouldn't mind going there a couple more times before we leave.

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  3. Great captures! Well just another reason to come back to AZ. I wanted to go there but due to weather we just could not fit it in our schedule.

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