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The desert can be the most mysterious place on earth. Even long-term residents are struck by the searing beauty and familiar alienness of everything they see. Mountains rising abruptly from flatlands, local and migrating birds, deserts full of plants, fierce rainstorms and floods, strange and well-adapted animals, startling snowfalls.

The Sonoran desert, home of the saguaro cactus, stretches from the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California up to southeastern California and western Arizona of the United States. It is an area of mystery, complexity and rare beauty for native and newcomer alike. We will explore some of those mysteries here.

Desert weather and climate
Rain that never reaches the ground, snow in a place that will rise to 120 degrees.

Desert plants and animals
The desert is such a barren empty place--and so full of life!

Desert gardening
Forget the old rules.

Desert-friendly living
Look to native animals and plants and people for direction.

Desert geology and landscape
Why does the desert look like this? And why is it a desert?

Let's explore.

 

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