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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Little Bunny's Easter Surprise

I recently resumed my yard sale venturing and I only spent $1.50!!!  I came across some cute books for my grandchildren and I was completely taken with some illustrations in one particular book.  Little Bunny's Easter Surprise by Jeanne Modesitt and illustrated by Robin Spowart is a cute tale about a little girl bunny wanting to surprise her parents and brother with some eggs that she decorated.  As I read the story I couldn't help but be impressed with the darling illustrations by Robin Spowart.  I think that they are so soft and sweet, and the colors seem to blend so beautifully.

                        Little Bunny and her baby brother bunny.

The Bunny family on Easter morning.

Looking for surprises outside.
     I'm particularly impressed with the color of the tree.

                                                    A happy Bunny family.

Click on the illustrations to enlarge.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Many happy returns!

This "M" post for Alphabe-Thursday is a real stretch for the letter M.  Link to Jenny Matlock for other entries for Alphabe-Thursday.       Many Happy Returns Arizona!

On February 14, most people celebrate Valentine's Day just like the people in Arizona.  However, this February 14, marks the 100th birthday of Arizona becoming a state.  President Taft officially signed documents declaring Arizona a state on February 14, 1912, thus making it the 48th and "baby state" long before Alaska and Hawaii were admitted to the Union.

The state flag measures four feet high and six feet wide, and is divided into a top and bottom half with a large five-point copper star in the center. The top half of the flag represents the 13 original colonies of the United States and the western setting sun. The copper star in the center of the flag identifies Arizona as the largest copper producing state in the union.
The lower half of the flag is a field of blue, the same Liberty Blue found in the United States' Flag. The red found in the rays of the setting sun is also the same shade of red found in the United States' Flag. The Blue of the lower half of the flag and the yellow of the western setting sun are the
Arizona State Colors.

 The great seal of the state of Arizona depicts our 5 C's of Cotton, Copper, Climate, Cattle and Citrus.  The state motto is "Ditat Deus" which means God Enriches.

                                  Desert Denizens of Arizona
The snake in this picture is a coral snake and it is very venomous.  It is related to the cobra and you really don't want to mess with it.  Arizona children quickly learn "red to black venom lack, but red to yellow deadly fellow"!!!!!  That refers to the colorful bands on the snake.  Since the red bands on this snake touch the yellow bands, you know that this is a venomous coral snake and BEWARE.  Trust me, if I came upon a colorful snake (non-venomous snakes like the scarlet snake, the milk snake, and the king snake are often confused with the coral snake) I wouldn't stick around long enough to recite the "red to black...." riddle!
 The Gila Monster is one of two venomous lizards found in the U.S.  It is a beaded lizard and it is fairly sluggish but it packs a punch if it decides to bite.  The pain from a Gila Monster bite is worse than that of a rattlesnake!  The bite causes edema, swelling and extreme pain.  Again BEWARE.
This beautiful scene is from the bottom of the Grand Canyon.  It is a picture of Havasu Falls.  My daughter and husband have hiked down into the canyon twice and the scenery is breathtaking.  

Here is a photo of a Cactus Wren which is the state bird of Arizona.  I believe that it is sitting on a staghorn cactus.

Since Arizona was known as the "baby state" before Alaska and Hawaii were admitted to the Union, it only had 14 original counties.  I guess that our lawmakers wanted to keep things simple thereby limiting the number of our counties and county seats.  When I was in college, I had to know all of the counties and the name of each county seat as part of my Arizona Constitution/Government class.  In 1983, a 15th county was added...La Paz.

The bloom of the Saguaro cactus is our state flower.  It is waxy in texture and very pretty.

A map of Arizona with the magnificent Grand Canyon in the northern part of our state.  Arizona is known as the "Grand Canyon State"
 The state tree is the Palo Verde which literally means "green stick".  I guess the name came from the Mexican and Spanish influence that was so much a part of Arizona when it was just a territory.  When I was taking my education classes at Arizona State University, I had to go on a field trip to the desert!  I had to identify and properly name the shrubs and cactus within a specified area!  I remember that I also mentioned seeing a tarantula and a scorpion or two to my professor just to see if I could get extra credit.  That didn't work since I was supposed to identify the vegetation only!
I can't believe that I have lived in Arizona for 50 of the 100 years that it has been a state.  I can't possibly go into all the history of my state or tell you all about the various climates, geography or etymology.  Many people think that Arizona is a land of sand dunes and cowboys and Indians.  It isn't!  My state has lakes and the mighty Colorado River.  It is loaded with history and monuments of those who have gone before.  It is rich with cotton and copper and critters that are fascinating to behold.  There is even an edible cactus that is used for jellies!  It does get hot during the summer but our winter, spring and fall weather is to die for!  Sunsets in the desert are spectacular and snow covered mountains are refreshing.  I'm glad that I live in Arizona and would invite everyone to visit at least once for a truly memorable and amazing experience.

                    Happy 100th Birthday, Arizona
                         and Many Happy Returns

         (all photos and graphics are courtesy of free Bing Images)