THE SONORAN DESERT, an arid region of western North America, covers an area of 120,000 square mi (311,000 square km) in southwestern ARIZONA and southeastern CALIFORNIA, most of Baja California, and the western half of the state of Sonora, MEXICO.
It is one of the largest and hottest deserts in North America and has two primary subdivisions, the Colorado and Yuma deserts.
A bimodal rainfall pattern produces a high biological diversity.
The Colorado Desert, forming the western part of the Sonoran Desert, is closer to the source of Pacific storms and is noted for spectacular spring flowering of ephemerals when there is winter-spring rainfall.
Pacific winter storms nourish many West Coast annuals (poppies and lupines), and summer monsoons host both annuals and woody plants originating from the south.
Trees are usually well developed on the desert ranges and slopes; abundant on well-drained soils are little-leaf paloverdes, desert ironwoods, catclaw, and saguaro.
The understory consists of three to five layers of smaller woody shrubs.
Tall cholla and saguaro cacti occur in a multitude of species, and the endangered acuna pineapple cactus is also present.
Alluvial lowlands host communities of desert saltbush, wolfberry, and bursage.
Creosote and bursage plant communities are common on coarser soils.
Modern irrigation has created fertile agricultural areas, including the Coachella and Imperial valleys of California.
More than 2,500 species of flora support a wide variety of fauna, including the endangered Sonoran pronghorn, desert bighorn sheep (especially in the Maricopa Mountains area), and other mammalian species such as mule deer, javelina, mountain lion, gray fox, and bobcat.
More than 200 species of birds are found, including numerous raptors and owls, particularly elf and western screech owls.
A diverse array of reptiles and amphibians, including the Sonoran desert tortoise and the red-backed whiptail, are also supported.
The region contains numerous significant archaeological and historic sites, including petroglyphs (rock art), lithic quarries, and permanent habitation sites, particularly along the bajadas of the Table Top Mountains.
Vekol Wash was an important prehistoric travel and trade corridor between the Hohokam and tribes located in what is now Mexico.
Villages were occupied by the ancestors of today's O'odham, Quechan, Cocopah, Maricopa, and other tribes.
Among the historic trails are the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail, the Mormon Battalion Trail, and the Butterfield Overland Stage Route.
The Sonoran Desert National Monument was designated by President Bill Clinton in January 2001.
The saguaro cactus forests within the monument are regarded as a national treasure, rivaling those within the Saguaro National Park.
- Traveling to Ellada is getting more expensive
"Because of the abolition of tax benefits for the most visited islands, the traveling prices to Rhodes, Santorini, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros and Skiathos will be considerably increased.
The preferential tax treatment, regulated on the islands, was canceled from October 1, 2015 according to the Government decision. The capacity to pay 30% less tax will also be concerned towards hotels located on the above mentioned islands. And from the beginning of the summer next year the new rules will be applied to the rest of the islands.
The imposed measures will affect the tourists, who will have to pay the bills without any tax treatment benefits. The new rule will first of all be applied to the hotel room prices, which may be increased up to 7-10% according to the experts forecast. Consequently, the vacation package price will also be increased, which does not favor the tourists. "
- The ticket price at Disneyland will depend on how big the queue is
"The Disney Company has reported that the way to define the ticket price will be changed soon: the price will depend upon the queue size.
The new pricing policy is to be implemented in order to screen the number of visitors. It is noted that most amusement park lovers visit Disneyland on weekends. Therefore, the ticket price on Saturday and Sunday will be much higher.
Besides this, the price for the annual membership will also mount up. So, now the amusement park annual pass will cost you about 920 euro. "