Arizona Quotes: Rain & Lack of Rain

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

Hardly enough rain falls in a year to puddle the dust on the panting plants. ~”In the Illini Vineyard: Robert H. Forbes, ’92, and his Arid Arizona,” The University of Illinois Alumni Association Quarterly & Fortnightly Notes, 1917

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

Governor Glasscock of West Virginia, while traveling through Arizona, noticed the dry, dusty appearance of the country. “Doesn’t it ever rain around here?” he asked one of the natives. “Rain?” The native spat. “Rain? Why, say, pardner, there’s bullfrogs in this yere town over five years old that hain’t learned to swim yet.” ~Everybody’s Magazine, “Under the Spreading Chestnut Tree,” November 1909

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

Unlike her next door neighbor California, where rain in summer is an almost unheard-of thing, Arizona has a distinct summer “rainy season,” which usually begins about the first of July and may extend to the middle of September or later. The rain is not continuous or unpleasant but merely a series of heavy showers that in a few days transform the country into a great green garden, so that Arizona really has two springs in her year and the most beautiful one follows the summer rain. ~Sharlot M. Hall, “Arizona,” 1906 #monsoons

A subtle but palpable feeling surrounded the three of us, like the scent of creosote and cactus flowers hanging heavy in the air after a long-awaited desert shower. ~Linda Kohanov, “Does the Horse Have a Buddha Nature?”, Riding Between the Worlds: Expanding Our Potential through the Way of the Horse, 2003

I am enamored with desert dew because it’s usually the closest thing we get to rain. ~Terri Guillemets, “Glistening grass is that moment,” 2006

Once, it was so damned dry, the bushes followed the dogs around. ~Nancy Dedera, quoted in You Know You’re an Arizona Native, When…, compiled by Don Dedera, 1993

The arid country! I look out over the sagebrush plain, panting and parched, and sense its long thirst for the rain… Does its soul stifle when the hot winds blow and the burning sands beat down? Is its throat cracked and aching in the alkali heat? Does it know a yearning as deep as death for the sound of a purling stream? ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), “A Soul’s Faring: XXVII,” A Soul’s Faring, 1921 [Strode was born in Illinois and later lived in California, New York, and other places, but she lived her final 35 years in Tucson. –tg]

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

These lands are too parched,
Please rain-bless our hearts!
~Terri Guillemets, “It’s a dry heat,” 2011

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. ~Arizona: A State Guide, compiled by Workers of the Writers’ Program of the Work Projects Administration in the State of Arizona, 1940

You know you’re an Arizona native, when you say, after the sermon about Noah and the 40 days and nights of rain, “Yep, we got about a half inch ourselves that year.” ~Jack Williams, former governor of Arizona, quoted in You Know You’re an Arizona Native, When…, compiled by Don Dedera, 1993