Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Taking Time Out To Smell The Flowers

We finally made it out to Boyce Thompson Arboretum www.ag.arizona.edu/bta where we were pleasantly surprised by all of the spectacular flowers and trees, many of which were blooming.

The Arboretum was created back in 1923 and is a joint venture of AZ State Parks, U of A, and a private non-profit corp which owns the land. Research at the park entails determining which plants thrive in the Sonoran Desert and so some of the plants are native and others are introduced, such as the eucalyptus forest on one of the trail loops. And there is a seasonal creek which provides water for the wildlife and birds. We saw cardinals all around the park along with hummingbirds, finches, and grackles. There are over 250 kinds of birds in the park. There are over 3 miles of trails with a main wheelchair accessible trail and other smaller trails branching off from the main trail. The main trail winds through typical desert scenery, a wooded canyon creek, an herb garden, a palm forest, and other smaller settings of flowers or cactus. The air was sweet with honeysuckle, orange blossoms, and sage. The whole park sits in a canyon so there are rocky outcroppings as a backdrop to all of the plants in the park. Boyce Thompson was an actual person who went to Russia during the revolution to help the starving peasants and was amazed at how they utilized all of the arid plants to survive. When he returned he created the arboretum to research arid plants from all over the world using the money that he had made in mining.
After being at the park for over 3 hours, we decided lunch was in order and drove to downtown Superior which is a town that has seen better days. As we were driving up through the old town we happened to see a place called Toast. What a wonderful discovery. This little bakery/bistro has daily baked breads and is run by a master baker by the name of Bert Archer. The chef for the remaining items on the menu is Mary Karlin who taught at the Ramekins Culinary School in Sonoma which was the Best Cooking School of 2005. She taught there for 10 years working with well known authors and celebrity chefs. Her book Wood Fired Cooking is sold through the Williams Sonoma Stores. We had a barbeque pork sandwich with chorizo crumbles on it accompanied by a coleslaw which in no way resembles any coleslaw you have eaten before. We have to come back on a Wed or Fri to taste the WoodFired Pizzas. For all of you who eat bread pudding, cinnamon rolls, scones, etc.... this is the place for you. The prices were reasonable and the decor was comfortable and had artists paintings on the walls. We will be back.

No comments:

Post a Comment