Why Do People Paint Citrus Tree Trunks White?

white_tree

Excerpt from Valley 101: A Slightly Skewed Guide to Living in Arizona, a collection of Clay Thompson’s columns for The Arizona Republic. (Originally published October 5, 1999.) Q: Why do people paint the trunks of their citrus trees white? A: HA! At last, a question we actually knew the answer to without having to look it up or ask somebody. It’s to protect them from the … [Read more...]

Elephant Feet in Northern Arizona?

04 elephant

Every now and then, as I search across Arizona for things of an unusual nature, something pops up as a complete surprise, something I'd never heard about even though I thought I'd seen 'em all. Several of them did that to me recently as I wandered across the northern part of the state, and they involve elephants. Or things that evoke mental images of elephants. They're … [Read more...]

The Case of The Vanishing Train Robbers

Railroad

Excerpt from “Arizoniana” by Marshall Trimble, the state’s official historian. On the evening of April 27, 1887, southern Arizona's only passenger train, the Sunset Express, was making its run toward Tucson. The train was a few minutes behind sched­ule, so the engineer gave her a little more steam to make up time. About 20 miles east of Tucson, the yellow streak from the … [Read more...]

Ghost Stories and Mysteries of Coal Mine Canyon

14 coal

Coal Mine Canyon is one of Arizona's lesser-known treasures because it's easy to miss. And, perhaps, because of the ghosts. There are no signs pointing to the canyon; the only markers are a windmill and watering tank on the side of the road southeast of Tuba City. But those who find it will be entranced by the multicolored hoodoos that rise sharply form the floor of the … [Read more...]

Why Does New Mexico Have a Stronger Hispanic Heritage Than Arizona?

New Mexico

Excerpt from Valley 101: A Slightly Skewed Guide to Living in Arizona, a collection of Clay Thompson’s columns for The Arizona Republic. (Originally published December 12, 2002.) Today’s question: If Arizona and New Mexico were both settled by the Spanish, why does New Mexico seem to have a much stronger Hispanic heritage than we do? That’s a good one. For help on this I … [Read more...]