What’s That After-Rain Aroma in the Valley?


Q: What exactly causes that fresh/earthy scent when it rains in the Valley? It’s a real distinct scent, not flowery or sweet, but more like a fresh, clean smell. A: Your question worked its way to the top of the pile at just the right time — Tuesday, when we had that delightful morning rain. As soon as the skies cleared we leapt into the Valley 101 mobile research lab, and set out to find the source of the scent.

The Birds of Santa Cruz County

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Santa Cruz County is for the birds. That’s not a criticism. It’s a compliment.

Literally and figuratively, birds are a major component of the Santa Cruz Tourism Council’s effort to draw visitors to the state’s smallest county. The area is well known as a birders’ hot spot, and that’s probably why birds of another feather have landed in 1o different locales. They are all sculptures, spread across the county at resorts, offices and parks as beacons that direct visitors to places of interest.

A Greek Monastery In the Arizona Desert

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St. Anthony’s Greek Orthodox Monastery is an almost miraculous oasis in an otherwise flat piece of Arizona desert near Florence. In less than two decades, the monks who live there have built churches, chapels, housing units, maintenance facilities, rotundas, fountains and sandstone walkways and converted an otherwise arid piece of ground into a lush, almost tropical, garden where greenery covers almost every square foot of the once-barren landscape.

Doc Flower: One of Old Arizona’s Great Con Men

Gold Rock

Today’s disreputable land promoters selling lake shore lots on edges of mirages are mere amateurs when compared to the wheeler dealers of yesteryear. The lawless Arizona territory attracted the wide gamut of frontier con men ranging from tin horn gamblers to stock swindlers. One was Doctor Richard Flower. Doc Flower wasn’t really a doctor. He earned his living for a time selling cure-all bottled medicine.

Do Your Feet Get Bigger When You Move to the Desert?

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Here at Valley 101 headquarters, white-coated lab technicians have been working round-the-clock to answer one of the greatest questions ever to cross the Valley 101 transom:

Do your feet get bigger when you move to the desert?

You know, we spent hours flipping pancakes, doing day labor, weeding soybeans to get through college, followed by years of crawling over the broken reputations of colleagues and competitors to arrive at a place of relative safety in journalism, and it comes to this: Do your feet get bigger when you move to the desert?