The air came over it in glassy waves, carrying its dry, aromatic perfume to one’s nostrils. On its burnt expanse a few huge live-oaks rose dark and dome-like, their shadows, black and irregular, staining the ground beneath them.
in The Pioneer.
With great discomfort and considerable difficulty they threaded this miniature forest, starting all sorts of wild things as they went on. Cotton-tail rabbits fled before them. Gophers stuck their heads out of the ground, and viewed them with jewel-like eyes, then noiselessly retreated to their underground preserves. Large gray ground squirrels sat up on their haunches, with bushy tails curled gracefully around them and wee forepaws dropped downward as if in mimic courtesy, but scampered off at their approach. Flocks of birds arose from their feeding grounds, and lizards rustled through the dead leaves.
FLORA HAINES LOUGHEAD,
in The Abandoned Claim.
THE SENTINEL TREE. (CYPRESS POINT, CALIFORNIA.)
A giant sentinel, alone it stands
On rocky headland where the breakers roar,
Parted from piny woods and pebbled shore.
Holding out branches as imploring hands.
Poor lonely tree, where never bird doth make
Its nest, or sing at morn and eve to thee,
Nor in whose shadow wild rose calleth bee
To come on gauzy wing for love’s sweet sake.
Nature cares for thee, gives thee sunshine gold,
Handfuls of pearls cast from the crested waves,
For thee pink-throated shells soft murmurs hold,
And seaweed vested chorists chant in caves.
Whence came thee, lone one of an alien band.
To guard an outpost of this sunset land?
in Forget-me-nots from California.
IN THE MEXICAN JUNGLE.
The jungle, however, rang with life. Brilliant birds flew, screaming at their approach—noisy parrots and macaws; the gaucamaya, one flush of red and gold; a king vulture, raven black save for his scarlet crest. From the safe height of a saber, monkeys showered vituperations upon them. Once an iguana, great chameleon lizard, rose under foot and dashed for the nearest water; again a python wound its slow length across the path. Vegetation was equally gorgeous, always strange. He saw plants that stung more bitterly than insects; insects barely distinguishable from plants. Here a tree bore flowers instead of leaves; there flowers grew as large as trees. * * * Birds, beasts, flowers—all were strange, all were wonderful.
in The Planter.