We are up to the third state in our know your state series. It is Arizona which was the 48th state admitted to the USA on February 14, 1912 – Valentines’s Day – exactly 50 years after it was recognized as a US territory.
State Capital: Phoenix
State Flower: Saguaro Cactus Blossom
State Bird: Cactus Wren
State Butterfly: Two-Tailed Swalloe
State Fish: Apache Trout
State Mammal: Ringtail
State Reptile: Ridge-Nosed Rattlesnake
State Gem: Turquoise
State Tree: Palo Verde
State Nickname: Grand Canyon State
State Motto: “Ditat Deus” God enriches
State Song: “Arizona March Song”
Most of Arizona is not privately owned, about 85% is made up of Indian Reservations, forests, parks or land held in state trust. The dry climate of Arizona makes it a desirable place for retirement. The first old-age home for Seniors opened in Prescott, AZ in 1911.
Arizona’s claim to fame is the Grand Canyon – one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World. It is more than a mile deep and stretches 18 miles wide in some parts. It was formed over a million years ago when the Colorado River, wind and ice carved it out. John Wesly Powell was an explorer who first called it the “Grand Canyon” when in 1869 he led a group of 9 people on a 1000 mile trip down the Colorado River. This was particularly amazing because he only had one arm as he had lost the other one fighting in the Civil War. An amazing man to have accomplished so much!
When you think of Arizona, you probably envision sandy deserts with lots of cactus. The Cactus you most often see is a giant one with a few arms growing upward. This is called a Saguaro and the tallest one in Arizona is almost 58 feet tall. They live for well over 100 years and the arms you see don’t start to grow until the cactus is 65 years old already. The flower blooms only once at night. Birds also like to make holes in the cactus for their nests.
Arizona has a large Native American population. The Navajo reservation covers 27,000 square mile in the Northeast part of the state. The Apache and Hopi also have smaller reservations and together, it is the largest Indian Reservation area.
A beautiful site in the state is the Painted Desert. Its layers turn red, pink, orange and purple from the mineral and decaying organic matter.
A Little trivia for you – what is the difference between a tee-pee and a wigwam? A tee-pee is a cone shaped structure of stripped tree saplings covered with cloth and a wigwam is a dome shaped and usually covered with grass, brush, bark or reeds.
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