Tucson is a low lying sprawling city nestled on the valley floor between the Santa Catalina Mountains to the north, the Rincons to the east, the Santa Rita Mountains to the south, the Tucson Mountains to the west, and the Tottolita Mountains to the northwest. The I-10 runs through the city.
The Saguaro cacti are protected by law - you are not even allowed to remove dead ones from where they fall. Most saguaro have a distinctive feature - they are full of holes. The holes are made by woodpeckers. They do not harm the cactus, and the woodpeckers are quite peaceable. If another bird moves into the hole, the woodpecker will just move on and make another hole for its nest!
Apart from the saguaro there are numerous other examples of desert vegatation around Tuscon, and in the spring the desert is ablaze with colour as the cacti come into flower.
There is much natural wildlife around Tucson, some you want to see, others you want to steer clear off! It is so hot here that the rattlesnakes are mainly nocturnal, and most of the animal life sleeps during the day in the summer months. By night you will hear the calls of the coyotes, and in the mountains there are mountain lions - in some areas you will see warnings about some lions.
There are bears in the mountains, and deer, javelinas and tortoises in the desert. And of course, plentiful lizards darting around. Just be wary of the Gila monster which is extremely poisonous!
One to be wary off - the Tarantula wasp can give a very nasty sting, but has a particularly horrible use for tarantulas in its path. The female stings the tarantula and paralyses it. She then drags it off to a hole and lays her eggs in the living body. The tarantula suffers a slow lingering death, as the eggs hatch inside its body, and the young larvae feed of the still living spider.
Tucson is a beautiful place, the city blends well into its surroundings. The landscape, scenery and historic buildings make it an interesting and beautiful place to visit.
The lingering sun and desert skies and vegetation make for some striking sunsets - night after night.
A visit to Tucson is a visit you will remember!
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The Saguaro National Monument can be found just outside Tucson - twice! The larger park is on the east of the city, and the smaller to the west. Here there are 'forests' of the amazing Saguaro Cactus which only grows in Arizona.
A saguaro is sixty years old by the time it grows it's first distinctive 'branch', and they live up to about 230 years. Many of the older saguaro that you see have been here since cowboy times - what a tale they could tell!