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Quotations about Arizona,
Phoenix, and Deserts

Related Quotes      Cities      Places      Summer      Weather

Well, the trip from then on across Arizona and east of Los Angeles was just one Oasis after another. You can just throw anything out and it will grow there. I like Arizona. ~Will Rogers

Desert rains are usually so definitely demarked that the story of the man who washed his hands in the edge of an Arizona thunder shower without wetting his cuffs seems almost credible. ~Administration in the State of Arizona, U.S. public relief program, 1935-1943

You know you're an Arizona native when you take rain dances seriously. ~Skip Boyer, quoted in You Know You're an Arizona Native, When… compiled by Don Dedera, 1993

Arizona looks like a battle on Mars. ~Author unknown

A three-inch rain in Phoenix means three inches between drops. ~Local saying

Welcome to Arizona, where summer spends the winter — and hell spends the summer. ~Popular saying, modified from a booster slogan in the 1930s

Fort Yuma is probably the hottest place on earth. The thermometer stays at one hundred and twenty in the shade there all the time—except when it varies and goes higher. It is a U.S. military post, and its occupants get so used to the terrific heat that they suffer without it. There is a tradition... that a very, very wicked soldier died there, once, and of course, went straight to the hottest corner of perdition,—and the next day he telegraphed back for his blankets. ~George Derby, quoted in Mark Twain, Roughing It, 1872

You know you're an Arizona native when you think Taco Bell is the local phone company. ~Emma Louise Philabaum, quoted in You Know You're an Arizona Native, When… compiled by Don Dedera, 1993

The Grand Canyon is carven deep by the master hand; it is the gulf of silence, widened in the desert; it is all time inscribing the naked rock; it is the book of earth. ~Donald Culross Peattie, The Road of a Naturalist, 1941

You know you're an Arizona native when a rainy day puts you in a good mood. ~Marshall Trimble, quoted in You Know You're an Arizona Native, When… compiled by Don Dedera, 1993

I'll take heat rash over frost bite any day. ~Ken Travous

I am enamored with desert dew because it's usually the closest thing we get to rain. ~Terri Guillemets

You know you're from Arizona when you drive two miles around a parking lot looking for a shady place — even in the dead of winter. ~Local saying

My favorite color... the seam of a desert horizon. ~Eileen Tabios

Once, it was so damned dry, the bushes followed the dogs around. ~Nancy Dedera

In Phoenix summer is
the title, the refrain,
And every other verse.
~Terri Guillemets

...letting the desert scratch its own thorny poetry on the enormous moon. ~Douglas Woolf, Wall to Wall

In the empire of desert, water is the king and shadow is the queen. ~Mehmet Murat ildan

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.
~Terri Guillemets

You know you live in Phoenix when the cold-water faucet is hotter than the hot-water faucet. ~Local saying

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.

Arizona and New Mexico, they are similar In lots of respects. They have great climates, almost any kind you like. They are both States that kinder wear well on you. Don't just look out of the train and condemn 'em. It just looks like nothing couldent live by looking out of a sleeper window. ~Will Rogers, weekly article, 1933 January 1st  [slightly altered —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

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 three 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!
~Terri Guillemets

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

Follow Terri Guillemets' board Arizona on Pinterest.

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

[T]he University of Arizona, a very fine school, well liked and spoken of by everybody that knows about it. ~Will Rogers (1879–1935)  [Go Wildcats! —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

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
Springtime is summer
Summer is torturous hellfire
Autumn is Summer Part II
~Terri Guillemets

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

And the Grand Canyon—well, I just don't want to hurt their feelings talking about it. No, sir, Europe has nothing to recommend it but its old age, and the Petrified forest in Arizona makes a Sucker out of it for old age. Why, that forest was there and doing business before Nero took his first Violin lesson. ~Will Rogers

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 that Arizona is going to really be understood and get somewhere some day. ~Will Rogers  [Ummm, no comment. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

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

The desert is quiet,
and it's listening.—
It's thirsty, and
waits patiently.—
A cactus grows
one hundred years
& spares no water.
~Terri Guillemets, "Sparse," 1992

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

They must've abbreviated us AZ because we have the entire spectrum of weather extremes: "A"blaze in the Phoenix sun to "Z"ero-degree snow in Flagg. ~Terri Guillemets, "Arizona Alphabet," 1989

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! —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance. ~Jane Austen [Also not about Arizona, but fitting! —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

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Last modified 2016 Jan 22 Fri 22:23 PST

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