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.
- The first spa for children will appear in Andorra
"The Caldea Innu center will build the first spa center for children. The investment for this unusual project will reach 650, 000 euro.
It is expected that the spa center for children, occupying about 400 sq m will be able to invite its first clients in summer 2016. The center will serve only the clients between 3 and 8 years of age. The main goal of the thermal resort is the family tourism development.
The first spa center in the world will include a resting area as well as the procedure area and water games section. "
- You can now apply for Australian Visa through the Internet
"Country entry permit application has become facilitated and the procedure itself takes less time.
Starting from October 1 this year this new system allows to apply for visa online 24/7, including holidays.
Electronic system makes possible not to visit the consulate to apply for the entry permit and you no longer need to mail papers. Moreover, the authorized individuals for applying from the applicant are free to use this system to apply for a visa instead of the applicant.
You are able to verify your application status through the Internet and when you get the entry permit to Australia all the documents will be sent either to your e-mail address or by a registered letter on the mailing address specified in the application form. You will need to take the received document with you and be able to show it if needed. However, it is noted that the airline company will be aware whether you have got the Australian visa or not (airport staff have an access to the electronic data system, which will also include information about received entry permits) and therefore you may not show your visa at passport control and during the boarding. "