The California Birthday Book eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 159 pages of information about The California Birthday Book.

CHARLES FREDERICK HOLDER,
in Life in the Open.

MAY 4.

THE HIDEOUS OCTOPUS.

From the glass-bottom boat we can see all the fauna of the ocean, and, without question, the most fascinating of them all is the octopus.  Timid, constantly changing color, hideous to a degree, having a peculiarly devilish expression, it is well named the Mephistopheles of the Sea, and with the bill of a parrot, the power to adapt its color to almost any rock, and to throw out a cloud of smoke or ink, it well deserves the terror it arouses.  The average specimen is about two feet across, but I have seen individuals fourteen feet in radial spread, and larger ones have been taken in deep water off shore.

CHARLES FREDERICK HOLDER,
in The Glass Bottom Boat.

MAY 5.

A SIERRA STORM FROM A TREE TOP.

Being accustomed to climb trees in making botanical studies, I experienced no difficulty in reaching the top of this one (a pine about 100 feet high), and never before did I enjoy so noble an exhilaration of motion.  The slender tops fairly flapped and swished in the passionate torrent, bending and swirling backward and forward, round and round, tracing indescribable combinations of vertical and horizontal curves, while I clung with muscles firm braced, like a bobolink on a reed.

JOHN MUIR,
in The Mountains of California.

MAY 6.

There is a breeziness, a spaciousness, an undefiled ecstasy of purity about the High Sierras.  Nature, yet untainted by man, has expressed herself largely in mighty pine-clad, snow-topped blue mountains, and rolling stretches of foot-hills; in rivers whose clarity is as perfect as the first snow-formed drops that heralded them; and a sky of chaste and limpid blue, pale as with awe of the celestial wonders it has gazed upon.  But there is an effect of simplicity with it all, an omission of sensational landscape contrasts.

MIRIAM MICHELSON,
in Anthony Overman.

The ocean is a great home.  Its waters are full of life.  The rocks along its shores are thickly set with living things; the mud and sand of its bays are pierced with innumerable burrows, and even the abyss of the deep sea has its curious inhabitants.

JOSIAH KEEP,
in West Coast Shells.

MAY 7.

THE COMING OF THE RAILROAD.  (IN CALIFORNIA.)

  It was folded, away from strife,
    In the beautiful pastoral hills;
  And the mountain peaks kept watch and ward
    O’er the peace that the valley fills—­
  Kept watch and ward lest the bold world pass
    The fair green rampart of hills.

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The California Birthday Book from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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