Wednesday, 27 February 2013


Arizona is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. Arizona is also part of the Western United States and of the Mountain West states. Arizona is the sixth most extensive and the 15th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. The second largest city is Tucson, followed in population by eight cities of the Phoenix metropolitan area: Mesa, Chandler, Glendale, Scottsdale, Gilbert, Tempe, Peoria, and Surprise.

Arizona is the 48th state and last of the contiguous states to be admitted to the Union, and it achieved statehood on February 14, 1912. Arizona is noted for its desert climate in its southern half, where there are very hot summers and quite mild winters. The northern half of Arizona also features forests of pine, Douglas fir, and spruce trees, a very large, high plateau (the Colorado Plateau) and some mountain ranges—such as the San Francisco Mountains—as well as large, deep canyons, where there is much more moderate weather for three seasons of the year, plus significant snowfalls. There are ski resorts in the areas of Flagstaff and Alpine.

Arizona is one of the Four Corners states. Arizona has borders with New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, California, and Mexico, and it has one point in common with the southwestern corner of Colorado. Arizona has a 389-mile (626 km)-long international border with the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California.

Arizona is the most populous landlocked state of the United States, assuming that coastline on the Great Lakes counts against being landlocked. In addition to the Grand Canyon National Park, several national forests, national parks, and national monuments are located in Arizona. About one-quarter of Arizona is federal land that serves as the home of the Navajo Nation, the Hopi tribe, the Tohono O'odham, the Apache tribe, the Yavapai people, the Yaqui people, the Zuni people, the Pima people, the Hia C-e O'odham and various Yuman tribes, such as the Yavapai people, the Quechan people, the Mojave people, the Cocopah people, the Paiute people the Havasupai people and the Hualapai people.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Forest Lakes, Arizona

Forest lakes is located within ZIP Code 85931. The ZIP Code is primarily unsettled, rural forest lands with the exception of Forest Lakes.

As of the census of 2000, there were 266 people, 136 households, and 97 families residing in the ZCTA for ZIP Code 85931. There were 916 housing units. The racial makeup of the ZCTA was 99.20% White, 0.40% Native American, and 0.40% Asian. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.61% of the population.
There were 136 households out of which 7.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 69.1% were married couples living together, 1.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.7% were non-families. 25.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.96 and the average family size was 2.29.

In the ZCTA the population was spread out with 7.1% under the age of 18, 0.8% from 18 to 24, 12.8% from 25 to 44, 42.1% from 45 to 64, and 36.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 60.5 years. For every 100 females there were 110.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 107.6 males.

The median income for a household in the ZCTA was $34,773, and the median income for a family was $34,219. The per capita income for the ZCTA was $21,981. About 9.2% of families and 12.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.0% of those under age 18 and 4.8% of those age 65 or over.

Monday, 30 May 2005

Gila Woodpecker House

According to my bird books, Gila Woodpeckers (Melanerpes uropygialis) don't like to nest in birdhouses. They usually nest in Saguaros, but I discovered how to get them to use birdhouses (the few Saguaros in my neighborhood look like Swiss cheese and all the holes are taken, so birdhouses are sorely needed). I use a standard woodpecker house with nothing inside but bare wood and mount it sideways under an overhanging roof about 7 feet above the ground. A baby Gila Woodpecker can be seen below sticking it's head out of a sideways woodpecker birdhouse.

I place a thin strip of wood with a 3/4 inch (1.9 cm) hole in it across the larger entrance hole. Gila Woodpeckers like to excavate their own holes, and because the 3/4 inch (1.9 cm) hole is too small, they will happily enlarge it to the proper size themselves. This fools them into thinking that they made the house themselves. You have to put a hole in the wood strip covering the hole so the Gila Woodpeckers know where to start chipping away the wood, otherwise they will tap on the birdhouse, hear that it sounds hollow, and then begin making a hole, often on the wrong side of the birdhouse such as the bottom. Gila Woodpeckers love to excavate the bottom side of birdhouses for some reason, but it is not a good place for an entrance hole because the eggs and babies would just fall out.

Gila Woodpeckers are fascinated by any small hole into a larger wooden cavity, and so the hole in the wood strip will quickly attract a curious Gila Woodpecker. The woodpecker will look with one eye into the hole, then look with the other eye, and then compulsively chip away at the hole until it is finally large enough for it to look inside with both eyes and solve the mystery of what's inside. If Gila Woodpeckers are damaging exterior wood on your home, putting up a birdhouse or two for them will help divert them from their more ill-conceived and costly excavations.

Sunday, 29 May 2005

Flesh Fly

Flesh Fly
Flesh Flies are members of the worldwide family Sarcophagidae. They are called Flesh Flies because the larva (maggots) of some of the species eat flesh, either in open wounds or on corpses. Other members of this family are parasites of other insects. The adult Flesh Flies feed not on flesh, but on sweet fluids like flower nectar. Flesh Flies can be recognized by their red eyes and the three, broad, black lines along the top of the thorax.

Flies have adhesive pads on their feet that allow them to stick to slick surfaces like window glass and to easily walk around on ceilings.