Photography: My Shot — White Peacock Butterfly (Anartia jatrophae)

As readers of JBRish might recall, I volunteer at the Desert Botanical Garden (DBG) in Phoenix, AZ. It is the second most visited tourist attraction in the state after the Grand Canyon. After all, what can compete with the Grand Canyon?

The DBG recently constructed a new and much improved butterfly pavilion which houses two different butterfly exhibits each year. One focuses on the Monarch butterfly while the other shows a variety of butterflies.

The picture above was taken during a recent visit to the DBG and the butterfly exhibit. These are beautiful and dainty creatures. It is always breathtaking to see so many of them up close among a captivating floral setting.




File Name: XT2A1876_r.tif
Capture time: 11:18 AM
Capture date: Oct. 6, 2018
Exposure: 1/320 sec @ f/5.6
Focal Length: 55mm
ISO: 200
Camera: Fuji X-T2
Lens: XF18-55mm, F2.8-4 R LM OIS
Edited in Lightroom & Photoshop


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Sonoran Winter Holiday at the Desert Botanical Garden – Phoenix

The Schilling Entry Arbor and Tranquility Fountain beckons seasonal guests to enjoy the winter holiday season in Sonoran Desert style.

Holiday Cheer at the DBG Entrance

Traditional festive decor can be found in many areas including the membership kiosk. While these items would be at home in any holiday display in the United States, they take on a special nuance when surrounded by nearby saguaro cacti and succulents.

Traditional Holiday accents at the DBG

It was somewhat strange to see the poinsettias taking their place next to traditionally xeric plants, many of which are native to the Sonoran Desert and other arid regions. The colors of the temporary plants play well off of the green aloes in the raised bed.

Poinsettias seem right at home next to their cacti neighbors

This yellow/white poinsettia with a bib of white cyclamen was strategically positioned near the main ticket booth. A swath of burlap is used to cover the less decorative standard pillar base.

Less traditional yellow/white poinsettias lend a nice accent when placed against the white cylcamen

During the Las Noches de las Luminarias celebration, the Desert Botanical Garden boasts – Eight thousand hand-lit luminaria bags and thousands of white twinkle lights will set the Garden aglow this winter for 21 magical evenings” – but I don’t think they were counting this rebar candelabra waiting patiently for the evening visitors and its chance to shine.

Candelabra in waiting for the evening display

The Las Noches de las Luminarias event is one of the major valley attractions this time of the year with a variety of music venues, holiday themes and a wonderful seasonal ambience set against the beautiful Sonoran Desert backdrop. If you attend, dress warmly and bring gloves!

Candelabra in waiting for the evening display

Above photograph courtesy of a screen shot of the Desert Botanical Garden website

It is a wonderful time of the year in Phoenix at the Desert Botanical Garden.

Winter Holiday in the AZ Desert

I don’t know what most people think about the winter holidays in the Sonoran Desert, but it is celebrated here much the same as it is all over the United States and perhaps the world. We do have a few differences, however. Below are some photographs taken at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix earlier this month.

Poinsettias and cyclamen are popular Christmas plants because of their red, green and white colors and their suitability to cooler temperatures.

poinsettias and white cyclamen

Planters with variations of this assortment can be found in numerous locations at the Desert Botanical Garden this time of year.

poinsettias and white cyclamen

Naturally we do accent some of them with our desert favorites like the agave and aloe in this grouping.

poinsettias, white cyclamen with an agave and aloe

And this taller cactus contrasted with poinsettias.

tall desert cactus accented with red poinsettias

For evening visitors to the DBG, there are metal sculptures with votive candle holders to add to the celebratory nuance of the season (pictured here unlit during the daytime).

metal sculpture of a candle tree

Recognizable in any locale is the relatively standard Christmas wreath!

Christmas wreath with red ribbon and shiny balls

That is not to say we don’t have our quirky desert expression of the season such as…

Cactus with Santa hats

Picture courtesy of AZ Landscape Creations

Happy Holidays form JBRish in the Sonoran Desert!


Desert Botanical Garden – March 12, 2015

Living in North Phoenix brings us close to the natural desert, but when guests arrive, they often want to visit the second most popular attraction in the state, after the Grand Canyon of course, which is the Desert Botanical Garden (DBG). Some might argue that Sedona, AZ would also be a close second, but I am just repeating what I have heard based on statistics.

Last week we visited the gardens with family. It has been unusually warm during the last week or so to the tune of 10 plus degrees so I wasn’t sure what the flowers would be like at this time. I am glad to report that many of the spring standard bloomers were still strutting their stuff although there were areas where drying had taken its toll.

Before we get to some of the flowers, however, here are a few pictures of the cactus and succulents we saw:

Silver Agave with Dark Margins

The silver highlights and varied leaf margins make this agave a stunning plant. The chocolate outline with the yellow surround are superb!

Pickle-colored agave with large Serrated Edges.

The wider-leaved agave had a very unusual color almost like a pickle. The serrated edges were also particularly colorful and pronounced.

Small dense agave with dark leaves and silver margins

The plant pictured above appeared to be an agave, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a succulent of a different family. In this particular arrangement, it wasn’t named although I am certain that elsewhere in the garden it would be. It was a smallish specimen being about twice the size of the average closed fist. The dark leaves and silver edges make this a winner.

Penstemon, asters in the wildflower garden

These Daisies/Asters and Penstemon Parryi were doing well in the wildflower garden. Not pictured were the Firecracker Penstemon, Brittlebush, Lupines, Fairy Dusters and others that were plentiful along the paths.

More about our trip to the DBG shortly…