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Quotations about Arizona, Phoenix, & Deserts
The trip across Arizona is just one oasis after another. You can just throw anything out and it will grow there, I like Arizona. ~Will Rogers
You know you're an Arizona native when you run to the window just to watch a dust storm. ~Marshall Trimble, quoted in You Know You're an Arizona Native, When... compiled by Don Dedera, 1993
Baseball, it is said, is only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona. ~George F. Will
You know you're from Arizona when you feed your chickens ice cubes to keep them from laying hard-boiled eggs. ~Local Saying
In Arizona, shade trees are your best friends... and occasionally the basis of small civil wars over parking. ~Terri Guillemets
I have always loved the desert. One sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence something throbs, and gleams. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Having spent the night and morning drenched in transfixing beauty, neither of us could stomach the thought of erecting our tent in the campground, so we gassed up and headed for more remote desert.... Nothing stood between us and the vibrant desert. Staring at the unlimited space fanned out before me, I felt magnified and ethereal, yet grounded.... I'd forgotten how enlivening it could feel, seeing clearly and far. Aridity frees light. It also unleashes grandeur.... Desert beauty was "sublime" in the way that the romantic poets had used the word—not peaceful dales but rugged mountain faces, not reassuring but daunting nature, the earth's skin and haunches, its spines and angles arching prehistorically in sunlight. ~Julene Bair, The Ogallala Road: A Memoir of Love and Reckoning, 2014
I live in the dry dusty desert
Where we're always short on water
And even if the sun fell upon us
It couldn't get any hotter.
You know you live in Phoenix when the cold-water faucet is hotter than the hot-water faucet. ~Author Unknown
It's so hot even my fake plants are wilting. ~Terri Guillemets
You know you live in Phoenix when the four seasons are: tolerable, hot, really hot, and are you freakin' kidding me?! ~Author Unknown
You know you live in Phoenix when you can drive four hours in any one direction and never leave the Valley. ~Author Unknown
Land of extremes. Land of contrasts. Land of surprises. Land of contradictions.... That is Arizona. ~Federal Writers Project, Arizona: The Grand Canyon State, 1956
Water, water, water.... There is no shortage of water in the desert but exactly the right amount, a perfect ratio of water to rock, of water to sand, insuring that wide, free, open, generous spacing among plants and animals, homes and towns and cities, which makes the arid West so different from any other part of the nation. There is no lack of water here, unless you try to establish a city where no city should be. ~Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Each season of adventure reality television gets more and more challenging. I'm waiting for them to come out with a Survivor: Phoenix in July edition. ~Terri Guillemets, 2006
The desert tells a different story every time one ventures on it. ~Robert Edison Fulton, Jr.
Most of those old settlers told it like it was, rough and rocky. They named their towns Rimrock, Rough Rock, Round Rock, and Wide Ruins, Skull Valley, Bitter Springs, Wolf Hole, Tombstone. It's a tough country. The names of Arizona towns tell you all you need to know. ~Charles Kuralt, Dateline America, 1979
You know you're an Arizona native when you "hug" a cactus only once in your lifetime. ~Nancy Dedera, quoted in You Know You're an Arizona Native, When... compiled by Don Dedera, 1993
You know you live in Phoenix when you are willing to park 3 blocks away because you actually found shade from a palm tree imported 300 miles from California and nurtured with water piped 250 miles from Nevada. ~Author Unknown
These lands are too parched,
Please rain-bless our hearts!
He'd always had a quickening of the heart when he crossed into Arizona and beheld the cactus country. This was as the desert should be, this was the desert of the picture books, with the land unrolled to the farthest distant horizon hills, with saguaro standing sentinel in their strange chessboard pattern, towering supinely above the fans of ocotillo and brushy mesquite. Because there had been some winter rain, the desert was in bloom. The saguaro wore creamy crowns on their tall heads, the ocotillo spikes were tipped with vermilion, and the brush bloomed yellow as forsythia. ~Dorothy Belle Hughes (1904-1993), The Expendable Man
Desert springtime, with flowers popping up all over the place, trees leafing out, streams gushing down from the mountains. Great time of year for hiking, camping, exploring, sleeping under the new moon and the old stars. At dawn and at evening we hear the coyotes howling with excitement—mating season. ~Edward Abbey, Postcards from Ed: Dispatches and Salvos from an American Iconoclast
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What ideal, immutable Platonic cloud could equal the beauty and perfection of any ordinary everyday cloud floating over, say, Tuba City, Arizona, on a hot day in June? ~Edward Abbey
God takes everyone he loves through a desert. It is his cure for our wandering hearts, restlessly searching for a new Eden. ~Paul E. Miller
Winter in 'Zona is spring
Spring is summer
Autumn is our winter
And summer is Hell.
But there is still too much to see and marvel at, the world very much alive in the bright light and wind, exultant with the fever of spring, the delight of morning. Strolling on, it seems to me that the strangeness and wonder of existence are emphasized here, in the desert, by the comparative sparsity of the flora and fauna: life not crowded upon life as in other places but scattered abroad in spareness simplicity, with a generous gift of space for each herb and bush and tree, each stem of grass, so that the living organism stands out bold and brave and vivid against the lifeless sand and barren rock. ~Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness
The desert is a place of bones, where the innards are turned out, to desiccate into dust. ~Vera Nazarian
I would enter the desert alone, to leave in the sand endless footprints only to be obliterated by the wind, to walk the same path each day expecting the same path tomorrow, and perhaps to cease wondering at the bloom and wither of lilies only to linger for death. But no, even in the desert, I would seek a new sanctuary, to contemplate a grain of sand in a sea of dryness. ~Leonard Seet
You know you're an Arizona native when you have to look up "mass transit" in the dictionary. ~Paul Johnson, quoted in You Know You're an Arizona Native, When... compiled by Don Dedera, 1993
You know you live in Phoenix when you've experienced condensation on your butt cheeks from the hot water evaporating in the toilet bowl. ~Author Unknown
The best gift of the desert is God's presence. ~Paul E. Miller
A hundred ten in the shade is sorta hot, but you don't have to shovel it off your driveway. ~Author Unknown
In the desert, I had discovered the West of my imagination, my childhood canyon infinitely magnified. I went there for inspiration and insight. ~Julene Bair, The Ogallala Road: A Memoir of Love and Reckoning, 2014
It was the farthest she had ever been from home, not only in miles but in feeling. The vastness of the desert frightened her. Everything looked too far away, even the cloudless sky. There was nowhere you could hide in such emptiness. ~James Carlos Blake, The Rules of Wolfe: A Border Noir, 2013
You cannot blame the Sahara alone for the troubles. But you should also not see the desert simply as some faraway place of little rain. There are many forms of thirst. ~William Langewiesche, Sahara Unveiled: A Journey Across the Desert
"Heat, ma'am!" I said; "it was so dreadful here, that I found there was nothing left for it but to take off my flesh and sit in my bones." ~Sydney Smith, Lady Holland’s Memoir [Context note: It's actually not about Arizona, but it fits!
What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance. ~Jane Austen [Also not about Arizona, but fitting!