Jimmy Belden loves this time of year.
Of the 126 volunteer docents at Tohono Chul Park, only one draws crowds, performs tricks and openly welcomes caresses from admirers.
Nestled in Oro Valley as a lush oasis of eclectic flora and fauna, Tohono Chul Park beckons to passersby.
Desert dwellers - whether they have two legs or four, are feathered or scaly, live in dens or condos - all manage to co-exist most of the time.
Coyotes eat pack rats, and any poison already in their prey will end up in the predator.
Coyotes feed on pack rats as do mountain lions and bobcats. Snakes also can help keep pack rats off your property.
A butterfly alights on a plant in one of Tohono Chul Park's gardens. There are areas dedicated to hummingbirds, geology and desert plants, among others.
The Garden Bistro is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and serves breakfast, lunch and an afternoon menu dubbed "Tapas, drinks and desserts." These's also a brunch menu on Sundays.
A cool stream of water flows through the demonstration garden/riparian habitat at the park, where visitors can gather ideas for using native plants at home.
Dappled shade and plentiful seating make for a seductive spot to hang out and relax.
This sphere of aluminum and stained glass is by Aureleo Rosano and is on exhibit in "Piece by Piece: An Exhibition of Mosaics" at the park's Entry Gallery. The exhibition is scheduled to continue until Oct. 20.
Oro Valley is weeks from expanding its borders to encompass Tohono Chul Park and surrounding, currently unincorporated areas.
Art is more than just a class for students at the Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind.
Nick Waldron, 19, works on a weaving at the ASDB. He researched the Chinese zodiac for his project.
Jessica Hernandez, 14, is making a mat with a bead design. She says her artwork expresses her feelings. The ASDB artwork is on display at Tohono Chul Park through July 20.
Visitors enjoy the sunset and ambience of the Tohono Chul Park Sonoran Spring Celebration on March 24. Held every March, the event celebrates the bloom of Sonoran desert wildflowers while raising money to benefit the park. Last year, the park raised $60,000. The event featured the Domingo De…