Arizona is the state that reminds people of stretched-to-the-horizon desert, of hot weather and bare land. However, I would like to tell you of the unique beauty of Arizona that has been my home for the past three years. The highlight in the report “Global Desert Outlook” published by the United Environmental Program on International Desert Day, June 6, 2006: “Deserts are not simply wasted lands but home to diverse plants and animal species. Deserts not only are the last areas of wilderness on the planet, but also home to many people and cultures” is a perfect description of Arizona.
I would like to show you the natural wonder of the Grand Canyon, well known as one of the top ten scenic spots in the world that one must see before heading to heaven. I would like to present to you the red rocks of Sedona, which USA weekend‘s annual travel report calls the most beautiful place in America, and of course, the gold seeker’s gathering place, the Superstition mountains. I would like to introduce you to Arizona’s unique desert ecosystem with breathtaking scenery. Sure enough, the desert land is very hot and dry in the summer, but many tenacious plants and animals survive the heat and drought. The land is host to a myriad of beautiful and interesting plants and animals. More than one fourth of Arizona’s land areas are covered by forests of aspen, birch, fir, spruce, oak, and pine trees. Arizona has the largest stands of ponderosa pine trees and the largest variety of cactus in United States. If you are driving through the desert mountains for the first time, the most unforgettable scene to catch your eyes is probably the vast giant saguaros standing out from the desert shrubs. Furthermore, over 400 edible plants can be found in the Sonoran Desert as well as the famous fatal rattlesnakes. There are seventeen different types of rattlesnake that can be found in the Arizona desert. There are many coyotes in Arizona, too. They have become the symbol of the wild southwest. All these desert plants and animals have composed the special desert city and its ecosystem.
The desert city is home to many people from different cultural backgrounds, and is the paradise of those “snowbirds” that frequently come back here during winter months. The word Arizona means “little spring” in the Paragon Indian language, and it is truly a marvelous place to spend time in. The native Indians, the cowboys, and many immigrants choose Arizona to be their home to reach their American dream. This desert is a melting pot for different cultures, and it is a place filled with people’s dreams and hopes. Arizona is not only a comfortable home and scenic spot, but also a good place for various sports. It is the home for the famous Phoenix Suns basketball team, the Cardinals football team, the Diamondbacks baseball team and the Coyotes hockey team. The hot weather cannot dry out people’s passion for sports. One can always find groups of different people playing sports so long as there is a spot for them. Because of the wonderful winter climate in the Arizona desert, golfing is a year-round sport. There are several professional courses in Arizona. One of which is host to a PGA golf tournament held every January in the Phoenix area.
On Valentines Day 1912, Arizona became the 48th state to be accepted into the union. However, Arizona is filled with amazing artifacts from past civilizations. Its history is rich in legends of America’s Old West. It was here that the great Indian chiefs Geronimo and Cochise led their people against the frontiersmen. As the settlers and fortune seekers crept further and further into the Arizona territory, the Native Indian tribes began to revolt, and historic markers and museums recounting their remarkable revolution can be found throughout the southern section of Arizona. Still today, more than 14 different tribes are represented on 20 different reservations. Arizona has one of the largest Native American populations in the United States. In addition to the Native cultures, there is the legendary city of Tombstone, where the Earp’s brother and Doc Holliday participated in a famous gunfight with the Clanton gang at the O.K. Corral. They led a team of cowboys that struggled through tumultuous times and sacrificed themselves for the enterprise of building a better Arizona. Their stories have been reproduced in several movies throughout the years. The incredible Indian culture and cowboy history of Arizona has been the inspiration for many amazing artists in the area.
The Petrified Forest, the Painted Desert, the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, Fort Apache, and the reconstructed London Bridge at Lake Havasu City; these exotic scenic spots, along with passionate sports locations, and the unique culture and history of Arizona have formed a living paradise in which I live.