Wednesday, September 30, 2009

GHC09: Sonora Desert Museum

Wow, have we ever been busy here in Tucson! It's late Tuesday night, and I'm only able to blog about Monday's activities. So there's definitely more to come. ;)

This year, I wasn't selected as a Hopper. Hoppers are conference volunteers who work for eight hours in exchange for free registration and a t-shirt. I didn't really need this since I won a scholarship, but was willing to volunteer anyway. I guess they wanted to make sure that everyone who needed the position got one, and so I did not. This is a bit of a guilty blessing in disguise, since I was able to do a little extra sight-seeing while some of our group did their Hopper work!

Barb and I used our rental car to check out the Sonora Desert Museum. On the way, we got a few nice shots at a lookout point:

Grace Hopper Celebration-13

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When we first entered the museum, we found a friendly woman who taught us everything we needed to know about the iconic cactus called the saguaro.

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Ever wondered what was inside a cactus? This. This is the skeleton of a dead saguaro cactus. I never knew they were woody inside, like trees:

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The museum was also a zoo. We saw all kinds of wildlife that lives in the desert. There were some surprises, including a white-tailed deer. We didn't realize there was enough food in the desert for them. When we finally saw one, we realized the looked the same as at home, but were smaller. This cute mountain lion was slightly more expected:

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This was the first day we were out in the hot sun, and we realized how HOT it has been here in Tucson lately. I think I got a bit of heat or sun stroke, because I felt pretty out of it the rest of the day. I also ate a bit later than usual, which probably didn't help.

All my Grace Hopper photos will be going in their own set on my Flickr account, so be sure to check back often to see much more than what I'm posting on my blog! And with that, I'll leave you with a few more cactus pictures. My next posts will be about our hike on Tuesday and the first day of the conference.


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