Arizona Fast Facts

Gold Canyon, Arizona

Since we’re going to be in the Phoenix area for another two months, I thought it was time for me to learn a bit more about Arizona.

State Flag: (The flag of Arizona consists of 13 rays of red and weld-yellow on the top half, the colors of the flag of Spain, representing the 13 original states. The red and yellow also symbolize Arizona’s picturesque sunsets. The copper star represents the copper mining industry in Arizona. The rest of the flag is colored blue, representing Colorado River.)

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  State Nickname: Grand Canyon State (In addition to its geologic wonders, the Canyon contains outstanding biological diversity, containing five of the of the seven life zones which is the equivalent of traveling from Mexico to Canada. It is home to numerous rare, endemic (found only at Grand Canyon), and threatened/endangered plant and animal species. The park contains over 1,500 plant, 355 bird, 89 mammalian, 47 reptile, 9 amphibian, and 17 fish species.)

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State Flower: Saguaro Cactus Blossom (Saguaros are the largest cactus species in the U.S.—they can grow more than 40 feet tall. A typical saguaro can live between 100-200 years.  A fully-grown saguaro can weigh more than a ton.  Depending on how much water they amass, saguaros can shrink or swell in girth by 20-25 percent over the course of a year.)

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State Gem: Turquoise (Turquoise is a blue to gray-green mineral consisting of copper aluminum phosphate. The mineral turquoise is formed by a chemical reaction which occurs when water containing specific minerals such as copper and aluminum leak through a rock. It forms in veins, which later then turn into a clump of turquoise.)

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State Bird: Cactus Wren (While the female is incubating on clutch of eggs, the male wren builds another nest. This nest will be used or a second clutch of eggs as the parents may rear several broods of young in one year. Building the nest in cactus provides some amount of protection for the young. The wrens also use these nest throughout the year as places to roost.)

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State Tree: Palo Verde (Palo Verde is a relatively small tree that can reach a height of approximately 32 feet and a trunk diameter of 1.5 – 2 feet. This tree has a deep root system which allows it to tap into the ground water and survive periods of extended drought and withstand severe flash floods. Palo Verde is drought deciduous (sheds its leaves during extended dry spells) at which time the tree relies on its green stems and branches for photosynthesis.)

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State Fish: Arizona Trout (aka Apache Trout) (The Apache Trout has a golden color with black spots. It can weigh up to 6 pounds, and grows to 24 inches long. The Apache Trout is unique to Arizona, and is not found anywhere else. It is considered an endangered species, but recent conservation efforts have allowed the state to permit some sport-fishing of the Apache Trout.)

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State Neckwear: Bolo Tie (Silversmith Victor Cedarstaff of Wickenburg, Arizona, claims to have invented the bolo tie in the late 1940’s (and later patented his slide design) but it is also said that bola ties are a North American pioneer creation that dates back to between 1866 and 1886. Boleadoras orbolas (from Spanish bola, which means “ball”) are throwing weapons made of weights attached to the end of cords.)

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PS Who new states had official neckwear? I sure didn’t… 🙂