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Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Desert Rat Reflects

Huachuca Mountains

The first impression I had of Arizona was dry, hot desert with Indian Reservations and no grass!  I wasn't eager to move here, but my job opportunity was here, so this Midwestern-raised gal faced the unknown and made the move.  I wondered how any sane person could actually like a yard full of rocks and no green grass in sight!
B Troop 4th Cavalry - Ft. Huachuca, AZ

After exploring my surroundings, I discovered this area is chock full of history of all kinds.  The Spanish came through here (Coronado and Father Kino, for instance), the Mexicans lived here when it was part of Mexico (later to be part of the Gadsden Purchase), and the Apache (Geronimo, Cochise and others) were fierce warriors against the soldiers stationed here at Ft. Huachuca, Ft. Bowie and other frontier forts.  And, of course, the settlers, some of whom struck it rich in Tombstone in the mines.


One doesn't live in the desert long without learning about all of the critters that dwell here.  There are rattlesnakes, gila monsters, lizards, geckos, tarantulas, scorpions, spiders, centipedes, and more.  Some are venomous, some scary-looking but harmless.  There are bears, mountain lions, bobcat and coatimundi in the mountains.  There are beaver living near the river.

San Pedro River (Riparian Area)

That's right...there are rivers in this high desert country!  The San Pedro is the nearest to where I live.  It runs underground part of the year, but as you can see above, other times there is visible water...enough that some beaver were transplanted here a few years ago.

Rainbow Cactus

Perhaps most surprising to me was the beauty of the desert.  After the rainy seasons the cactus bloom with beautiful blossoms in pink, red, white, yellow and the wildflowers pop up everywhere!  It is a sight to behold.  It only took about a year for me to become a card-carrying desert rat, bragging about the gorgeous sunsets to everyone who would listen.  Now I can't imagine living anywhere else.

Have you ever been pleasantly surprised when your first impression of something turned out to be totally wrong?



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10 comments:

  1. I just love Arizona! I live in the Midwest, but when I was a teenager, my family drove out to Phoenix and Flagstaff three times. Such a beautiful trip, and I always thought I'd love to move out there! =)
    We enjoyed all the historic sites as well as the parks. =)

    Kristina J.

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    1. Kristina - There is so much to see here...Flagstaff can give you a taste of four seasons, Sedona has awesome red rocks, Phoenix will give you your big city fix if you like living in an oven, and the White Mountains give you an alpine feel. What are you in the mood for? You can drive there! LOL!
      Hugs, GraceinAZ

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  2. I live in Wisconsin and can't imagine living in AZ. I know there are green areas and lovely developed cities...but I think I would do better in FL. Good for you for cultivating a love the area that became your home. xo Diana

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    1. Diana - Never having been to FL, I can't say, but I bet I'd love it, too. I have had enough of the Midwest, however. LOL!
      Hugs, GraceinAZ

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  3. I live in the Phoenix area (Buckeye). We moved here 4 years ago after living in Southern California for over 40 years. I have a hard time getting use to the 115 degree weather, but spring is beautiful. I do admit I miss California, because it is sooooo dry here...Right now I am fighting with allergies from the pollen, etc. Oh, I also had a HUGE hairy desert scorpion in my garage for the 1st time since moving here!!!! I will have nightmares tonight.
    Marje

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    1. Marje, eek on the scorpion! We haven't seen one near the house for a couple of years...I hope because we have the pest folks spray monthly. My Stepdaughter lives in Goodyear, so I can relate to the heat! We are usually 10-15 degrees cooler in our corner of AZ. And, dry? Hrumph...my eyes stick shut, my throat is scratchy and my skin is awful! Yep, that Arizona- but I love it anyway.
      Hugs, GraceinaZ

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    2. Oh...I failed to tell you that the large scorpion was found by our bug guy that comes out every 2 months. We had those sticky paper bug traps throughout the garage & he was found in one of them. It really put a scare in me as well as lots of chills. lolo
      Marje

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  4. It is so beautiful. We have visited a couple of times.I can see why you love living there.
    Blessings, Ginger

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    1. Ginger, it does have so much beauty of all sorts and for all seasons here. But, you also live in a beautiful area and someday I would love to visit that part of the country!
      Hugs, GraceinAZ

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  5. Ya I never would think that I would like it but this Midwest girl has never seen Arizona

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