Flower of the desert, type mysterious,
Like bird or monster on some sculptured tomb
In Egypt’s curious fashion wrought, what change
Or odd similitude of fate, what range
Of cycling centuries from out the gloom
Of dusty ages has evolved thy bloom?
In the bleak desert of an alien zone,
Child of the past, why dwellest thou alone?
Grotesque, incongruous, amid the flowers;
Unlovely and unloved, standing aside,
Like to some rugged spirit sheathed in pride;
Unsmiling to the sun, untouched by showers—
The dew falls—every bud has drunk its fill:
Bloom of the desert, thou art arid still!
MARY E. MANNIN.
In late spring and early summer upon the fading grasslands and on the dry sunny slopes of the hills, the Mariposa tulips set their long-stemmed chalices of delicate color. Bulbous plants of the lily family, they are frequently called Mariposa lilies, but as a matter of fact their relationship is very near to the true tulips of the Old World, and like the latter, they have been extensively introduced into cultivation both in this country and abroad.
The petals are often conspicuously marked with lines and dots and eye-like spots in a manner that suggests the gay wings of a butterfly, whence the term, “Mariposa,” which is the Spanish word for that insect.
ELIZABETH H. SAUNDERS,
in California Wild Flowers.
COPA DE ORO. (CALIFORNIA POPPY.)
Thy satin vesture richer is than looms
Of Orient weave for raiment of her kings,
Not dyes of olden Tyre, not precious things
Regathered from the long forgotten tombs
Of buried empires, not the iris plumes
That wave upon the tropics’ myriad wings,
Not all proud Sheba’s queenly offerings,
Could match the golden marvel of thy blooms,
For thou art nurtured from the treasure-veins
Of this fair land; thy golden rootlets sup
Her sands of gold—of gold thy petals spun,
Her golden glory, thou! of hills and plains,
Lifting, exultant, every kingly cup
Brimmed with the golden vintage of the sun.
INA D. COOLBRITH,
in Songs from the Golden Gate.
The Golden Eagle is California’s noblest bird of prey. He is more than a match for any animal of his own size. Not a beast of the field or a fowl of the air can dispossess him; he stands intrepid before every earthly power except the hand of man. He is shy and wary at all times, clean and handsome, swift in flight and strong in body. An experience gained in the fiercest of schools makes the Eagle as formidable as any creature of the wild. He is a valuable inhabitant of any cattle range or farming community. His food consists almost entirely of the ground squirrels that are so abundant through the California hills and cause such damage to the grain fields.