June 28: Desert Botanical Garden
I got up at 6 in the morning to visit Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix, Arizona. As it is very hot in daytime, the garden opens at 7 a.m.

This is called Parry's Century Plant. I saw a lot of them in Apache Trail yesterday. The plant blooms once in 70 years and dies. Before the death, it is shining brilliantly in gold on the back ground of blue sky.

This unusual cactus is called "Grandfather's cactus." White soft spines look like aged man's whiskers.
Saguaro cactus, symbol of Arizona. Saguaros grows only in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, Sonora, Mexico and two small areas in California near the Colorado River. Suguaro is the greatest cactus in the United States. Its first branches, or "arms," appear after 50 to 100 years. Saguaro reach their full height of 40 feet(12 meters) in 150 to 200 years.
I am interested in Saguaro's size. It seems me to be a large "beautiful woman." After rains, Saguaros' pleated stems expand to hold more moisture. A saguaro can hold up to hold 1,500 gallons(almost 5,700 liters) of water. During long, dry spells, the stems contract. Saguaro can survive even if they lose up to two-thirds of their stored water.
Saguaro is a kind of a hotel. Many animals live on it. On the explanation plate reads "Saguaro Hotel." Does the sun-rising like mark resemble to a famous hotel chain?
A bird flew on the top of a saguaro. Woodpeckers often make their nests on saguaros as well.
A died saguaro. It holds water in the hollow. The life of saguaro is said to be 300-400 years.
The skeleton of saguaro was once used for the construction material of Indians' dwellings.
Those tools were used for Indians' cooking. Peas stored in vase was ground in the stone grinder to make powder. I tried to do so.
Beautiful flower called Velvet Mesquite is everywhere.
woolly-headed Barrel Cactus. The size is hard to carry with both hands. They grow in the semi-arid regions of northern and central Mexico. Contrary to a popular myth, the barrel cactus is not filled with free-flowing, drinkable water. The water is stored in special water-storing tissues, somewhat like those of a juicy potato.
In the afternoon, we went out for shopping at Old Town of Scottsdale. This is a shop selling Indian crafts like dole, T-shirt, cloths, leather, and so many things. Many shops allure visitors in the hot dry air.
Taking a picture with Indians. Yes, they are mannequins.
Main street of Old Town. I am about to "dry-up" in the mid-summer, 4 p.m. street. Almost nobody is walking. When I got on the car and tried to fasten seat belt, I was almost burnt in my hands by the metallic part of the fastener. The car arrived before car cooler became effective. Outer temperature: 110 F.

USA Toravel record