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Chiricahua National Monument is known for its rhyolite hoodoos, stone pillars carved by natural processes over thousands of years. But just northwest of the monument’s visitors center are two stone pillars of a different kind. They’re the only standing reminders of a long-gone destination — and, for Susan Reedy, an important chapter...

PHOTOGRAPHY

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Photographer: Randy Wheelis

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In Depth

Chiltepin peppers are tiny things. Almost cute. They’re invariably described as “pea-sized,” but they appear even smaller than that. Shining in the sun on a December afternoon and brightening their shrubs with pixels of red, the chiltepines resemble minuscule Christmas tree ornaments.

I’m examining the ripe chiles on a chiltepin bush at the conservation center for Native Seeds/SEARCH, the Tucson-based organization dedicated to preserving stocks of seeds from indigenous Sonoran Desert plants. Kevin Dahl — a Native Seeds board member until recently, and the organization’s executive director before that — has brought me here on a meandering tour around Tucson to better acquaint me with what many people call “the mother of all peppers.” The chil­tepin is the only chile native to Arizona, and Dahl says it’s considered the closest wild relative to domesticated chiles. 

To truly know the chiltepin, you have to eat one fresh, straight off the plant. But considering these chiles’ fiery reputation, I hesitate before taking the first bite. Diminutive though they may be,...

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Photograph by Bill Steen

History, Nature & Culture

History

From showers and baths to sinks and dishwashers, water is something we often take for granted. But the challenges of maintaining a feasible water supply in Arizona’s desert...

Photograph: Central Arizona Project

Nature

If you’ve ever been hiking on a desert trail, odds are you’ve encountered a spine field of teddy bear chollas (Cylindropuntia bigelovii). These fluffy-looking cactuses are...

Photograph by Sue Cullumber

Culture

It felt longer than it was, the canyon.

The way it curved and climbed and dropped again. The shadows. The light. The sky. Out of and under and through the present...

Photograph by Caitlin O'Hara

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The Indian Arts and Crafts Board (IACB) offers a Source Directory of American Indian and Alaska Native Owned and...

Millions of people visit Arizona every year, and for good reason. From the iconic Grand Canyon to world-class resorts,...

Hungry for Something New? Cochise County’s expanse of mountain and sky, from sunrise to sunset, makes flipping your...

As Arizona's long-term drought continues, wildlife across the state will rely on more than 1 million gallons of water...