Arizona

Nature Photography: Airport Botanical Walk

One of Tucson’s best Southwestern landscapes is at the airport. That’s right, the airport. Here’s how to find this urban treasure:

If you’re taking the city bus (and, sorry to say, the drivers are on strike right now) catch the southbound #6 and get off at the park and fly lots just north of the airport entrance. You’ll be on the west side of Tucson Boulevard.

Walk down to the airport entrance and cross where the sign says that the sidewalk is about to end. You’ll be heading over to the east side of Tucson Boulevard, and there’s a paved sidewalk that will take you all the way to the terminal.

After you cross the bridge over the (usually dry) wash, the visual feast begins.

Let’s start with an ocotillo tree that has responded to our recent rains by sprouting a lush set of leaves…

Nature photography - Blooming ocotillo with lush leaves, Tucson, Arizona

Okay, this is Arizona. You’re probably wondering where you can find our official state cactus, the saguaro. How about right here…

Nature photography - Saguaro cactus at Tucson International Airport

While the octotillos are sprouting new leaves, the Santa Rita prickly pears are setting their summer fruit…

Nature photography - Santa Rita prickly pear cactus at Tucson International Airport

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