Last Saturday was Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day. The weather was too good to be inside, but they count the Desert Botanical Garden (DBG) as a museum, so we took advantage of the free admission and spent the afternoon walking garden paths.
I guess a botanical garden is kind of like an outdoor museum with living plants and animals.
We saw a hummingbird and bees buzzing around the Garden’s flowers and a big lizard was just hanging out on a rock next to the bench where I was sitting.
Since the DBG no longer allows picnicking, we ate our lunch at a nearby picnic area in Papago Park and were entertained by ground squirrels scurrying around and birds attempting to carry off pieces of a pizza someone had left behind.
Maybe they’re the reason DBG banned picnicking. You really don’t want grackles flying through your museum and dropping half-eaten pizza slices.
Also, we spotted this bus the other day that said “Let’s be better humans.” I don’t know what the story is behind it, but it’s a good message!
Update: I found the Instagram account for the bus! I’m still not totally clear on what their campaign does, but they describe themselves as “a movement in love and humanity,” and that sounds like a good thing to me.
You start in the Tucson heat surrounded by saguaros. An hour (or so) and a few thousand feet in elevation later, you can be sitting among spruce trees in air cool enough to not melt the chocolate chips of the oversized cookie in front of you.
Drive the Sky Island Scenic Byway (also called the Mt. Lemmon Highway, the Catalina Highway, and – officially – the General Hitchcock Highway) through beautiful landscape and six (6!) different climate zones.
Then you can hike or picnic or ride the year-round ski lift. (Yes, it gets cold and snowy enough in the winter for skiing up there!)
I didn’t expect to be pressing flowers during this winter’s trip to Virginia, so I didn’t pack anything for that. But I ended up with a few rose petals from my cousin’s wedding I wanted to preserve.
I’d been wondering if a cardboard coffee sleeve could work as an on-the-go flower press, so I grabbed one from the hotel. Since the inside had ridges, I tore it at the seam and basically turned it inside out, sandwiching the petals between flat sides. It may not have been necessary, but I slipped another sleeve over the top just to help everything stay put. Then I clipped it all together with a hair clip.
It actually worked pretty well! I imagine you could also use binder clips or wedge the sleeve under something heavy in your suitcase to keep it flat. Another way to repurpose coffee sleeves for crafting!
It was outside the old Faraway Ranch house. I’m not sure what kind of tree it is, but the bees sure loved it! The blossoms make me so happy that I’ve made this the wallpaper for my phone’s lock screen.