Round Tailed Ground Squirrel
While touring the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, we passed numerous burrows in the ground that seemed to be stationed around cactus and other desert plants. These were made by the round-tailed ground squirrel.
They like to live in dense sandy areas and can be found in the Southwest, California and Mexico. Active in the morning and late afternoon, they'll munch on green vegetation, seeds and sometimes insects.
This type of ground squirrel uses whistles as a type of alarm signal when predators are sighted. They mature at 10-11 months of age.
Lake Pleasant and off road driving
lake pleasant regional park formed by the creation of a dam. Huge lake in the middle of the desert. Near the lake are plenty of places to go off roading (4 wheel driving),be prepared for a bumpy road. Advisable to take a4WD book such as Backcountry adventures.
I think the best way to get to...
I think the best way to get to Phoenix is by aeroplane, though when you're there you really need a car. The Sky Harbor airport is pretty big and it also has international flights.
I must have a car. There's no other way. Distances are big and it's way too hot even to walk places that are close.
Not surprisingly by the name it is an Australian themed steakhouse. Most things on the menu is steak although there are really nice fish options and some pasta options and salads.
They call chips, chips and not french fries like most places in the US. I ate the fish of the day, which was lightly seasoned and grilled. It was served with fresh vegetables. Good size portion. You will also get some delicious dark brown bread. They are very quick at refilling your drinks.
The steaks are very fat!
desert botanical garden -- do not miss this!
this is a wonderful place to see an astonishing array of desert plants, how beautiful they are, and how ingeniously they are built so as to catch every little drop of water. this is absolutely fascinating; i was afraid i might be bored, but i never even came close to that. the garden is completely outside, open every day from 8 am to 8 pm. admission is $10 for adults, and $4 for kids over 3.
there are drinking fountains, shaded benches, and restrooms along the trails; the restroom enclosures have vending machines with bottled water for $1 or less. you can rent an umbrella for shade at the entrance for $2. allow at least 2 hrs for this adventure.
the desert discovery trail is the main one, it is circular and about a third- or a half-mile long. four loops branch off it; each loop is about a quarter- or a third-mile long and features a different aspect of desert life. all of the trails are manageable for handicap access except the sonoran desert nature trail, which is on an incline. a motorized wheelchair might be able to manage this, though.
there is an arcadia farms restaurant (called the "patio cafe" here) open from 9 am to 4 pm every day. see my phoenix "restaurant" tips for info on this restaurant.
at the end of the trails, a gift shop (open from 9 am to 5 pm) is near the desert wildflower trail. you can go into the gift shop without going thru the main entrance; it also looked to me as if you could reach the wildflower trail by going thru the gift shop instead of thru the main entrance, but i'm not sure about this.
the gift shop sells desert plants as well as souvenirs. i don't know about the reasonableness of the prices for the plants, but the other items in the gift shop were VERY expensive, at least twice what i saw for the same items elsewhere. the only exceptions were postcards for 25 cents, children's books and fuzzy finger puppets for under $10, and
t-shirts for about $20.