The first stop on my trip is in Tucson, Arizona, in the middle of the Sonoran Desert. I used to think deserts were empty places, all brown and dusty with just a few snakes and lizards crawling about – but this desert is rather green, and quite prickly. And many furry little creatures live here. Watch carefully and you’ll see rock squirrels and jack rabbits running from bush to bush. In the cool afternoons and evenings, pretty little cottontail bunnies and tiny mice come out of their homes to play with their friends and scamper about looking for food.
The Sonoran Desert is home to the world’s largest variety of cactus, the saguaro (pronounced SAH-WHA-ROE). Take a look at the art project I made for you to demonstrate the size of a typical saguaro. It would actually take 20 or 30 fox terriers standing on top of each other to be as tall as a saguaro, but you get the idea….
I like to think of saguaros as the apartment buildings of the desert, because so many birds live in them.
The desert is also home to many smaller cacti. (One prickly desert plant is a cactus, two prickly desert plants are cacti.) Cactus are usually covered in pointy needles and prickers – some as large as a sewing needle and others so tiny they look like fuzz. Whatever their size, they all hurt when you stand or sit on them. Ouch! Good thing I bought some new boots to protect my paws as soon as I arrived in Tucson. (Do you think I should have asked for two pairs of boots though….?)