One thing I most wanted to see as we approached the desert states was a saguaro cactus. I didn't even know what they were called, I just knew I wanted to see one.
While we were in Carlsbad, I learned about The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park, and on our last day, we paid a visit.
Temperatures had warmed up a little, and the sun shone for a couple of hours, but the wind was brutal and Tim was having a bad day, so I wasn't convinced we could explore everything, but the more we looked the more we wanted to explore. One of the volunteers answered questions for us, and I learned that saguaro cactus do not grow in the Chihuahuan Desert, which we were in, so I'd have to wait to see them until later.
The docent also told us we could rent Tim a motorized scooter for only $5 so we could explore outside, too, and I'm so glad we did.
The paved loop lead us around the living desert, where educational plaques taught us about the different types of plants and cacti.
I'm not much of a zoo fan in general - I feel sorry for the wild animals held in captivity, even though I love having the opportunity to see them up close.
The layout and design of this zoo added interest as we made our way through.
We're still laughing over one exhibit, with the wild cats.
We first saw a cage for bobcats, but didn't see any. Then we passed a rock, and what looked like the same cage, but a sign for mountain lions. There were two up high in the rocks.
I was sharing our journey with Zach, my son, by text. I sent a photo of the Bobcat board above, and a picture of the mountain lions, and he pointed out that those weren't bobcats. I told him they were all in the same cage, and he insisted I was wrong. Then he pointed out the diet of the mountain lions.
That day, the bobcats were either in hiding or the mountain lions were napping after a feast. (No, I didn't go back to see if they were actually in separate cages, but I'm sure they were.)
The Javalinas were a delight. I'd never seen any before, and they ended up being so playful, I tried to capture a short video. I wanted to take one with us!
The Mexican wolves were enormous, and seemed to keep watch over the park.
I saw my first roadrunner, too. (Seeing it in captivity helped me recognize it a few days later when one ran across the road in front of us!)
This wall summed up our visit as we went back inside the visitor's center:
The Living Desert was a great introduction.
On Monday, a new town and a ministry idea!
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