“Between the excessive Sierras south from Yosemite—east and south over a truly nice assemblage of damaged levels past dying Valley, and on illimitably into the Mojave desolate tract” is the territory that Mary Austin calls the Land of Little Rain. during this vintage choice of meditations at the wonders of this quarter, Austin generously stocks “such information of the land, of its trails and what's astir in them, as one lover of it could provide to another.” Her shiny writings trap the landscape—from burnt hills to sun-baked mesas—as good because the wealthy number of plant and animal lifestyles, and the few people who inhabit the land, together with cattlemen, miners, and Paiute Indians. this contemporary Library Paperback vintage is determined from the unique 1903 version.
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Extra info for The Land of Little Rain (Modern Library Classics)
Rabbits sat up within the chaparral and cocked their ears, feeling themselves fairly secure for the as soon as because the hunt swung close to them. not anything occurs within the deep wooden that the blue jays will not be all agog to inform. The hawk follows the badger, the coyote the carrion crow, and from their aerial stations the buzzards watch one another. What will be worthy understanding is how a lot in their neighbor’s affairs the hot generations research for themselves, and what sort of they're taught in their elders. So extensive is the diversity of the scavengers that it truly is by no means secure to assert, eyewitness on the contrary, that there are few or many in one of these position. the place the carrion is, there'll the buzzards be accrued jointly, and in 3 days’ trip you won't sight one other one. the way in which up from Mojave to crimson Butte is all desertness, affording no pasture and scarcely a rill of water. In a 12 months of little rain within the south, flocks and herds have been pushed to the variety of millions alongside this street to the perennial pastures of the excessive levels. it's a lengthy, sluggish path, ankle deep in sour airborne dirt and dust that will get up within the gradual wind and strikes alongside the backs of the crawling farm animals. within the worst of occasions one in 3 will pine and fall out incidentally. within the defiles of purple Rock, the sheep piled up a stinking lane; it was once the solar smiting by way of day. to those shambles got here buzzards, vultures, and coyotes from the entire nation around, in order that at the Tejon, the Ceriso, and the Little Antelope there have been now not scavengers adequate to maintain the rustic fresh. All that summer time the lifeless mummified within the open or dropped slowly again to earth within the quagmires of the sour springs. in the meantime from purple Rock to Coyote Holes, and from Coyote Holes to Haiwai the scavengers gorged and gorged. The coyote isn't a scavenger via selection, who prefer his personal kill, yet being generally a lazy puppy, is apt to fall into carrion consuming since it is simpler. The purple fox and bobcat, a bit pressed by means of starvation, will consume of the other animal’s kill, yet won't typically contact what dies of itself, and are exceptionally shy of meals that has been man-handled. Very fresh and good-looking, fairly belying his dating in visual appeal, is Clark’s crow, that scavenger and plunderer of mountain camps. it's permissible to name him via his universal identify, “Camp Robber:” he has earned it. no longer content material with refuse, he pecks open meal sacks, filches entire potatoes, is a gormand for bacon, drills holes in packing instances, and is daunted via not anything in need of tin. all of the whereas he doesn't forget to vituperate the chipmunks and sparrows that whisk off crumbs of convenience from below the camper’s toes. The Camp Robber’s grey coat, black and white barred wings, and narrow invoice, with convinced methods of perching, accuse him of makes an attempt to go himself off between woodpeckers; yet his habit is all crow. He frequents the better pine belts, and has a loud strident name like a jay’s, and the way fresh he and the frisk-tailed chipmunks retain the camp! No crumb or paring or little bit of eggshell is going amiss. excessive because the camp might be, so it's not above timberline, it's not too excessive for the coyote, the bobcat, or the wolf.