El Charco del Ingenio

This morning I visited the botanical garden located high on a hill overlooking San Miguel.  When I got there at 8:30 am, it was a bit cool, but by 10:30 it was hot.  Am glad I got there early!

The area, 170 acres in size, is planted with both native and introduced plants, the great majority are cacti and succulents.  There are natural areas, organized gardens, a children’s area, gathering areas, a conservatory, propagation area, dog park, gift shop, and cafe.  Running through the area is a dammed waterway forming a large lake. At one time, water from the lake was piped to a local textile mill; the water supplied the power to run the looms.

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Blooms were just beginning to open when I arrived this morning, and by the time I left, many more buds had opened on the cacti.  These blooms have a tissue-like fragility which dramatically contrasts with the spikes, spines, and woody thorns and hard, leathery surfaces of the plants, many in rugged, contorted forms.  It is a dry, harsh landscape.  At first it looked rather boring, but as I wandered along the many trails, I discovered a lot of variety to the colors, forms, and textures.  Among the large and massive, tree-like cacti were tiny and intricate succulents with delicate flowers.

Here are my photos.

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Tomorrow I pack and Tuesday I return home.  Stay tuned for more travels ahead.  I haven’t decided where or when just yet….

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