CONTENTS (As in the book)


[page xiii] CHAPTER I. The Approach.—Desert mountain ranges—Early morning approach—Air illusions—Sand forms—The winds—Sun-shafts—Sunlight—Desert life—Antelope—The Lost Mountains—The ascent—Deer trails—Footprints—The stone path—Defensive walls—The summit—The fortified camp—Nature's reclamations—The mountain dwellers—Invading hosts—Water and food supplies—The aborigines—Historic periods—The open desert—Perception of beauty—Sense of beauty—Mountain "view" of the desert—Desert colors—The land of fire—Drouth and heat—Sand and gypsum—Sand-whirls—Desert storms—Drift of sands—Winter cold in the basin—Snow on desert—Sea and sand—Grim desolation—Love for the desert—The descent—The Padres in the desert—The light of the cross—Aboriginal faith -- 1

CHAPTER II.The Make of the Desert.—The sea of sand—Mountain ranges on desert—Plains, valleys, and mesas—Effect of drouth—The rains—Harshness of desert—A gaunt land—Conditions of life—Incessant strife—Elemental warfare— Desert vegetation — Protruding edges—Shifting sands—Desert winds—Radiation of heat—Prevailing winds—Wear of the winds—Erosion of mountains—Rock-cutting—Fantastic forms—Wash-outs—Sand-lines in caves—Cloud-bursts—Canyon waters—Desert floods—Power of water—Water-pockets—No [page xiv] surface-streams — Oases in the waste — Catch-basins — Old sea-beds—Volcanic action—Lava-flows—Geological ages—Kinds of rock—Glaciers—Land slips—Movement of stones—The talus—Stages of the talus—Desert floors—Sandstone blocks—Salt-beds—Sand-beds—Mountain vegetation—Withered grasses—Barren rock—Mountain colors—Saw-toothed ridges—Seen from the peaks—The Sun-fire kingdom -- 23

CHAPTER III. The Bottom of the Bowl.—Early geological days—The former Gulf—Sea-beaches on desert—Harbors and reefs—Indian remains—The Cocopas—The Colorado River—The delta dam—The inland lake—The first fall—Springs and wells in the sea-bed—The New River—New beaches—The second fall—The third beach—The failing water—Evaporation—Bottom of the Bowl—Drying out of the sea-bed—Advance of the desert—Below sea-level—Desolation of the basin—Beauty of the sand-dunes — Cactus and salt-bush — Desert Animals —Birds—Lizards and snakes—Mirage—The water illusion—Decorative landscapes—Sensuous qualities in Nature—Changing the desert—Irrigation in the basin—Changing the climate—Dry air—Value of the air supply—Value of the desert—Destruction of natural beauty—Effects of mining, lumbering, agriculture—Ploughing the prairies—"Practical men"—Fighting wind, sand, and heat—Nature eternal—Return of desolation -- 44

CHAPTER IV. The Silent River.—Rise of the Colorado—In the canyon—On the desert—The lower river—Sluggish movement—Stillness of the river—The river's name—Its red color—Compared with the Nile—The blood hue—River changes—Red sands and silt—Riverbanks—"Bottom" lands—Green bordering bands—Bushes and flowers—Soundless water—Wild fowl—Herons [page xv] and bitterns—Snipe—Sadness of bird-life—The forsaken shores—Solitude—Beauty of the river—Its majesty—The delta—Disintegration—The river in flood—The "bore"—Meeting of river and sea—The blue tomb—Shores of Gulf -- 63

CHAPTER V. Light, Air, and Color.—Popular ideas—Sunlight on desert—Glare and heat—Pure sunlight—Atmospheric envelope—Vapor particles in air—Clear air—Dust particles—Hazes—Seeing the desert air—Sea-breezes on desert—Colored air—Different hues—Producing color—Refracted rays—Cold colors, how produced—Warm colors—Sky colors—Color produced by dust—Effect of heat—Effect of winds—Sand-storms—Reflections upon sky—Blue, yellow, and pink hazes—The dust-veil—Summer coloring—Local hues—Greens of desert plants—Color of the sands—Sands in mirage—Color of mountain walls—Weather staining—Influence of the air—Peak of Baboquivari—Buttes and spires—Sun-shafts through canyons—Complementary hues in shadow—Colored shadows—Blue shadows upon salt-beds—How light makes color—Desert sunsets -- 77

CHAPTER VI. Desert Sky and Clouds.—Commonplace things of Nature—The blue sky—Changes in the blue—Dawns on the desert—Blue as a color—Sky from mountain heights—Blackness of space—Bright sky-colors—Horizon skies—Spectrum colors—Bands of yellow—The orange sky—Desert-clouds—Rainfall—Effect of the nimbus—Cumuli—Heap-clouds at sunset—Strati—Cirri—Ice-clouds—Fire-clouds—The celestial tapestry—The desert moon—Rings and rainbows—Moonlight—Stars—The midnight sky—Alone in the desert—The mysteries—Space and immensity—The silences—The cry of the human -- 95

[page xvi] CHAPTER VII. Illusions.—Reality and appearance —Preconceived impressions—Deception by sunlight—Distorted forms and colors—Changed appearance of mountains—Changes in line and light—False perspective—Abnormal foreshortening—Contradictions and denials—Deceptive distances—Dangers of the desert—Immensity of valley-plains — Shadow illusions — Color-patches on mountains—Illusions of lava-beds—Appearance of cloud-shadows—Mirage—Need of explanation—Refraction of light-rays—Dense air-strata—Illustration of camera-lens—Bent light-rays—Ships at sea and upside down—Wherein the illusion—"Looming" of vessels, cities, and islands—Reversed image of mountains—Horses and cattle im mirage—Illusion of rising buttes—Other causes of mirage—Water-mirage—The lake appearance—How produced—Objects in water—Confused mirage—The swimming wolf—Colors and shadows in mirage—Trembling air—Beauty of mirage -- 109

CHAPTER VIII. Cactus and Grease-Wood.—Views of Nature—Growth and decay—Nature's plan—The law of change—Nature foiling her own plans—Attack and drouth—Preservation of species—Means of preservation—Maintaining the status quo—The plant-struggle for life—Fighting heat and drouth—Prevention of evaporation—Absence of large leaves—Exhaust of moisture—Gums and varnishes of bushes—The ocatilla—Tap roots—Underground structure—Feeding the top growth—Storage reservoirs below ground—Reservoirs above ground—Thickened barks—Gathering moisture—Attacks upon desert plants—Browsing animals—Weapons of defence—The spine and thorn—The crucifixion thorn—The sting of flowers—Fierceness of the plant—Odors and juices—Saps astringent and cathartic—Expenditure of energy—The desert covering—Use of desert plants—Their beauty [page xvii] —Beauty in character—Forms of the yucca and maguey—The lluvia d'oro—Grotesque forms—Abnormal colors—Blossoms and flowers—Many varieties—Wild flowers—Salt-bush — The grasses and lichens—The continuous struggle -- 128

CHAPTER IX. Desert Animals.—Meeting desert requirements—Peculiar desert character—Desert Indians—Life without water—Endurance of the jack-rabbit—Prairie dogs and water — Water famine — Coyotes and wild cats living without water—Lean, gaunt life—Fierceness of animals—Attack and escape—The wild cat—Spring of the cat—Mountain lion—His habits—The gray wolf—Home of the wolf—The coyote—His cleverness—His subsistence—His background—The fox—The prey—Devices for escape—Senses of the rabbit—Speed of the jack-rabbit—His endurance—The "cotton-tail"—Squirrels and gophers—Desert antelope—His eyes, nose, and ears—His swiftness—The mule-deer—Deer in flight—White-tailed deer—The reptiles—Defence of poison—The fang and sting—The rattlesnake and his poison—Spiders and tarantulas—Centipedes and scorpions—Lizards and swifts—The hydrophobia skunk—The cutthroat band—The eternal struggle—Brute courage and character—Beauty in character—Graceful forms of animals—Colors of lizards—Mystery of motion -- 150

CHAPTER X. Winged Life.—First day's walk—Tracks in the sand—Scarcity of birds—Dangers of bird-life—No cover for protection—Food problem—Heat and drouth again—A bird's temperature—Innocent-looking birds—The road-runner—Wrens and fly-catchers—Development of special characteristics—Birds of the air—The vulture—His hunting and sailing—The southern buzzard—The crow—The great condor—Eagles and hawks—Bats [page xviii] and owls—The burrowing owl—Ground-birds—The roadrunner's swiftness—The vicious beak—The desert quail—Wings of the quail—Travelling for water—Habits of the quail—His strong legs—Bush-birds—Woodpeckers and cactus—Finches and mocking-birds—Humming-birds—Doves and grosbeaks—The lark and flickers—Jays and magpies—Water fowl—Beetles and worms—Fighting destruction by breed—Blue and green beetles—Butterflies—Design and character—Beauty of birds—Beauty also of reptiles—Nature's work all purposeful—Precious jewel of the road -- 174

CHAPTER XI. Mesas and Foot-Hills.—Flat steps of the desert—Across Southern Arizona—Rising from the desert—The great mesas—"Grease-wood plains"—Upland vegetation—Grass plains—Spring and summer on the plains—Home of the antelope—Beds of soda and gypsum—Riding into the unexpected — The Grand Canyon country—Hills covered with juniper—The Painted Desert—Riding on the mesas—The reversion to savagery—The thin air again—The light and its deceptions—Distorted proportions—Changed colors—The little hills—Painting the desert—Worn-down mountains—Mountain wash—Flattening down the plain—Mountain making—The foot-hills—Forms of the foot-hills—Mountain plants—Bare mountains—The southern exposures—Gray lichens—Still in the desert—Arida Zona—Cloud-bursts in the mesas—Wash of rains—Gorge cutting—In the canyons—Walls of rock—Color in canyon shadows—Blue sky—Desert landscape — Knowledge of Nature — Nature-lovers — Human limitations -- 194

CHAPTER XII. Mountain-Barriers.—The western mountains—Saddles and passes—View from mountain top—Looking toward the peaks—Lost streams—Avalanches [page xix] and bowlder-beds—Ascent by the arroyo—Growth of the stream—Rising banks—Waterfalls—Gorges—Ascent by the ridges—The chaparral—Home of the grizzly—Ridge trails—Among the live-oaks—Birds and deer—Yawning canyons—Canyon streams—Snow—Water wear—The pines—Barrancas and escarpments—Under the pines—Bushes, ferns, and mosses—Mountain-quail—Indigo jays—Warblers—The mountain air—The dwarf pines—The summit—The look upward at the sky—The dark-blue dome—White light—Distant views—The Pacific—Southern California—The garden in the desert—Reclaiming the valleys—Nature's fight against fertility—The desert from the mountain top—The great extent of desert—The fateful wilderness—All shall perish—The death of worlds—The desert the beginning of the end—Development through adversity — Sublimity of the waste — Desolation and silence — Good-night to the desert -- 213


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