Arizona is a unique place. I grew up in Eastern Colorado in an area called the sandhills, and there's plenty of sand dunes to earn the name. I always thought I lived in a desert, but it doesn't really compare to here. Spring in Golden Valley AZ is really kinda pretty, though it has been a very dry spring so not all the colors are showing up; I'm told the valley got its name because of the profusion of golden flowers when they bloom. There is, however, more color than I recall back home. I haven't been there in a long time and last time I was there it was really dry and dead looking compared to what I remember as a kid. However, there, there was sagebrush, yucca, and prickly pear cactus (with yellow flowers, I'm told), and some pretty good grazing for cattle in between. Here, though I see cattle here and there, I have no idea what they eat. Where they are, it is generally open range to a degree, so I think they allow more acreage per head than at home.
The ground here is compacted rocky debris from the surrounding once-upon-a-time mountains with very little topsoil, though I don't understand why there's no topsoil to speak of. Maybe it all gets washed away with the flashfloods that happen when they do get rain - no idea. But there are lots of interesting bushes and scrub trees and such. 99% of them are covered with thorns, some form of sticker, or are pointy. Others produce some form of burr that might not actually stick you, but they get into your clothes and are hard to get out again. The rest is a very low, very dry, scrub grass that's just barely hanging on. Maybe if there was a little more rain, it would be greener, but it has rained only once since I've been here and then it was only for like five minutes.
There are some green lawns here. We go to the park every few days for softball practice, and there's green lawns all around there. Of course, they are maintained by automatic watering systems, which turn on probably every night for a few minutes.
One thing I find odd is how few homes bother with a maintained any kind of lawn. The other day we were in Kingman AZ for a couple appointments for the baby that were a couple hours apart. We killed time by having breakfast in a restaurant in between and I don't remember where else we went - a store I think - before going to the second appointment. Those two appointments were not at the same place. At any rate, we were driving around town on some of the back streets to avoid the highway and its traffic. I was stunned by how many homes had graveled yards. It was nice-looking, and most of yards were like postage stamp size, which would have made mowing annoying, but all gravel? I have to say, those people must not have had any kids or pets - you can't really play on gravel and letting your dog poop there would be just yucky. I think I spotted only one or two yards with grass (green) and one I noticed with a more natural growth (meaning the dry scrub grass found everywhere else). I'm not sure if that was watered, but I don't think so. I'm not even sure that house was lived in.
The days are already reaching into the 80s and the nights are not getting quite as cool, but the wind, while annoying, keeps it from feeling quite so hot. I admit to avoiding the sun, but I can't really do that at the park. I can only say that I haven't sunburned yet, and I really kind of expected to. Still, though I find it pretty and interesting, I am not a fan of Arizona. Last time I was here it was winter, and while cooler, it wasn't much better. For me, I would wish for the wind to just go away. All that's left for me to experience here (I think) is one of those heavy rains that cause some of the flooding I've been told about. Some of the back roads have signs warning of possible water over the pavement, but I have yet to see such an event.