The big tourist attraction in the city of Palm Desert is the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. On my last day in the desert, while the male members of my family hiked Andreas Canyon, I decided to re-visit the Living Desert. Instead of frantically trying to see all the animals—many of whom, typically, were in hiding—I concentrated on the gardens, which are restful and lovely.
So I spent some time in the shade of a palm tree reading Philip K. Dick’s The Zap Gun, with a bag of popcorn and a bottle of water at my side.
There have been changes since my last visit. For one thing, there is a whole Australian section; and, in future, there will be a major rhinoceros exhibit in the African section.
Shown above is a Boojum Tree or Cirio from Baja California’s central desert. The scientific name is Fouquieria columaris, but the English name is taken from Lewis Carroll’s poem “The Hunting of the Snark”:
“But if ever I meet with a Boojum, that day, In a moment (of this I am sure), I shall softly and suddenly vanish away— And the notion I cannot endure!”
Tomorrow, I will describe some of the animals I saw at the Living Desert.
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