Lighten Up

The desert is ablaze in beautiful colors.

March is perhaps the nicest month here in the Arizona desert. It won’t be long, and the temperatures will be hot enough to keep even the heartiest nature lover inside enjoying the cool of air conditioning and television. By that time, we’re back in Denver enjoying the spring and early summer weather.

But in March, the daytime temperatures in the East Valley of Phoenix are warm, yet the nighttime temperatures still cool down to the 50s. The cacti, which to this point seemed  dormant, prickly, and somewhat grouchy, start bursting into blooms of bright yellows, pinks, purples and corals. The desert is coming alive!

Because of the blooming blossoms, Bill and I decided to visit the Desert Botanical Garden yesterday. I have mentioned that my sister Bec volunteers as a docent at the Garden, and so she agreed to give us a personal tour. She and I have gone several times in the past, but not since she studied all of the plants the Garden offers. This time she gave us information and interesting tidbits about all of the plants. It pays to have friends in high places.

In addition to wanting to see the flowers in bloom, Bill and I were eager to see a special show being offered until May at the Desert Botanical Garden – Bruce Munro: Sonoran Light. Munro is a British artist who primarily uses light as his artistic medium. The Desert Botanical Garden was bedecked in amazingly beautiful colored light – a sight to behold. Since we had an early dinner, we were able to see the lights go on as the evening got dark.

And speaking of dinner, we had a delicious meal at Gertrude’s, the restaurant at the Garden…..

Bill, Bec, and I enjoyed a yummy dinner on the patio.

Bill, Bec, and I enjoyed a yummy dinner on the patio.

Afterwards, we walked around and saw some of the pretty desert flowers…..

ocotillo flower

cactus flower

orange flowers

We saw Munro’s interesting displays before the sun went down and the lights came on……

munro display

This display (and several of the others) is made out of empty two-liter soda bottles. Inside, the artist puts fiber optic lights.

And then, when the lights went on, it was a sight to behold…..

munro display 2

It was interesting to see what can be done with lights and fiber optics. We, by the way, weren’t the only ones to have this idea. The Botanical Gardens was very busy, especially later when it got dark.

There is, of course, no way a photo can be as beautiful as the real thing. One of the most majestic parts of the light show was something quite unexpected. The Desert Botanic Garden is bordered by some of the red-rocky hills plentiful in the valley. One of the hills is filled with lights that twinkled and shone as the day transitioned into night…..

light on the hill 2

It was a pleasant afternoon and evening. By the way, the light show runs through May 8. Bec’s tours run longer than that!

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