Monthly Archives: April 2022

RV Life as an Introvert – Robert J. Moody Demonstration Garden.

Just take a look at those little sprouts of new spring growth – so cute!

I was at this sweet little garden in March 2022. It is tiny and so worth seeing. The best part for me was the fact that the cacti were just beginning to blossom. Although small, this garden packs in the delights. It has a gazebo, a kid’s area, several benches for sitting in the shade, an amphitheater, a vegetable garden, a herb garden, etc.

It is across from a high school, so introverts should choose their visit time/day carefully. I was there early on a Saturday morning and had the whole place to myself. Perfection! Because it has a kid’s area, be aware that families may show up later – especially on weekends. Also, it is located within the city and right on a city street, so there will be some traffic noise. When I was there, however, the noise was minimal.

Directly from the county extension’s website: “The Robert J Moody interactive demonstration garden is an ongoing project maintained by Master Gardeners and the Moody Garden Society. Their efforts benefit the entire community, as a plant resource and educational area. Moody Garden is comprised of many different gardens including cultivated plants, emblem, native plant, tropical, vegetable and xeriscape displaying the many different types of plants that can be grown in Yuma County.

“Plants are labeled for identification, and you can take a self-guided tour or have someone from the Master Gardener Program, Moody Garden Society, or University of Arizona do a tour. There are also numerous kiosks throughout the garden identifying each area and its purpose.

“It is located next to the U. of A. Yuma County Extension office at 2200 West 28th Street, Yuma, AZ.”

I highly recommend you visit this place – whether introvert or not. Take a book and some snacks, and enjoy the beauty, diversity, and education offered by this little sanctuary in the city of Yuma, AZ.

RV Life as an Introvert – The Yuma Conservation Garden

The cacti were just beginning to bloom when I was there. Look at those sweet little blossoms.

I was at this garden in March 2022, and I really liked it for three very distinct reasons. 1. I got there right as they were opening, and no one else was there (yay! Score for the introvert), 2. the desert was beginning to bloom, and 3. it was weird. And I really like weird things – until things get TOO weird. And then I get weirded-out. LOL

Please note: Check their website for their hours/days/seasons of business.

Directly from their website: “The Yuma Conservation Garden is located at the northeast corner of Pacific Avenue and Highway 80. The 28-acre site includes a botanical garden featuring Sonoran desert vegetation, a watershed model, a pond for wild and domestic waterfowl, and a display of antique farm equipment.” 

This garden is across the highway from Yuma’s international airport, is right next to the fairgrounds, and seems quite out of its element. It has some really old and wonderful farm equipment inside the garden, is laid out in paths that sometimes kind of peeter-out with no warning, has signs that are so old that most are illegible, but also has some wonderful plants and landscaping. It is free to the public (with a spot for donations), and you can purchase duck food at the entrance to feed the ducks at their pond. And despite being right on the highway and across from the airport, I highly recommend the experience – especially if you like slightly funky things. Their website is a bit primitive, but I imagine the whole thing – garden and website – is done by volunteers, so I’m okay with that.

Right after I got there, another introvert showed up. I know she was an introvert, because only once in the 28-acre spread did we cross paths. And when we did, neither one of us spoke, smiled, nor even made eye contact. Therefore, I loved her immediately. Thank you, whoever you are, for letting me be my introverted self.

So, this place is perfect for introverts – if you get there early. I stayed as long as possible. I had to finally leave because people were showing up. I love this place and will go back through it if and when we go back to Yuma, AZ. I was so smitten that I went to my car when I was done and brought them back a donation.

RV Life as an Introvert – The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum near Tucson.

Old mining equipment in the rocks, minerals, and cave exhibit area

This place is southwest of Tucson, AZ. It is located, according to their flyer, on the ancestral lands of the Tohono O’odham (Desert People). It sits on 21 acres with two miles of walking paths through various habitats. It houses 230 animal species, 1200 types of plants, has a comprehensive regional mineral collection, and world class art exhibitions (again, directly off their flyer). Check their website for days, seasons, and hours of operation.

As far as introverted appropriateness: We got there right when they were opening – at 8:30am – on a Saturday morning, and we were one of only three vehicles present. We got our tickets and were ready to go in. However, we decided to wait until it warmed up some. The tickets were good for all day. It was in the 40’s and at the museum’s higher-than-Tucson elevation, the wind was whipping around, and even in the extra clothes and coats we had on, we knew we would not be comfortable walking around outside for several hours. If we had been able to stay and go through that early, it would have been perfect.

We came back right after lunch when it had warmed up some and not only was the parking lot full to the proverbial brim, there were three full-size yellow school buses present. So needless to say, it was really really really crowded.

However, this museum is totally worth seeing. Despite the large crowd, we took our time and spent probably three hours going through the entire museum – inside and out. They have an aquarium; a reptile and amphibian hall; an Earth sciences center and cave; an area to see an ancient Arizona Sonorasaurus; a mountain woodland; a desert grassland area; desert loop trail (complete with a coyote); a place to see and pet stingrays (do stingrays LIKE being petted?); a cat canyon (containing an ocelot, bobcat, and gray fox); a kid’s play area; a bee education area (complete with solitary bee hotels); riparian corridor; free-flight aviary featuring desert species; an underground area (for burrowing animal observation); a free-flight hummingbird aviary; touch-less water bottle refill stations; as well as restrooms, restaurants, gift shops, coffee bar, etc. Please note that some of the restaurants/shops were not operating as per usual due to Covid protocols.

I do not like zoos, because I am not a fan of capturing, housing, keeping (usually in an artificial environment), and showing off wild animals simply because humans want to look at them. So, I had some issues with seeing their wild animals caged for the public’s amusement. They were wonderful to see, I appreciated their beauty. But mostly it made me sad. But all zoos make me sad. So, keep this in mind when you visit the museum. The non-captured wildlife portion of the museum would be worth seeing in and of itself, so I can still recommend the place – for introverts and extroverts alike.

And if you are an introvert, simply choose your day and time (and watch the weather) wisely and it could be a really great experience for you. In fact, it would be spectacular to see the (again, mostly outside) museum in the quiet with the morning desert sky as a backdrop.