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Spiny Pocket Mice
SOON after finishing my desert shanty I built an out-of-door cookstove. With cement and small stones I constructed a fire-box and then closed over the top with sheet steel. On the evening when I cooked my first meal upon it the pocket mice were there at the first smell of gravy.
Cactus Wren
THE neotomas are not alone in their use of cactuses as a means of protection; insects, mice, turtle doves, ladder-backed woodpeckers, Palmer and Le Conte thrashers, and several other birds find in the beneficent spiny masses or under the roots a hiding haven or a place to rear their young.
Catherpes, The Canon Wren
OF all our sweet-singing Western birds, it seems to me without a doubt that the canon wren is the most finished and pleasing musician. All birddom hardly shows a song so full of glad hurry, so sweet and artistically controlled.
Betsy Bounce, The Rock Wren
EARLY, early this morning, long before a single direct ray of the sun had brightened the rock-ribbed hills or desert sands, the rock wren was abroad as restless as a chipmunk, singing her shrill, chippering, tinkling song and ceaselessly darting in and out among the rock ledges looking for insects.
Antelope Chipmunk
THE antelope chipmunks, or ammos, as they are sometimes called, are the liveliest, most active and agile of all the small mammals of the desert, and they hold an interest to us out of all proportion to their size.
Round-tailed Ground Squirrel And Near Relatives
HE went out that morning into a world of plenty. The spring rains of the few days previous had sent millions of seeds to sprouting, and now the deserts were coming green again with a host of juicy annuals. Dainty wild flowers almost literally sprouted and bloomed in a day.
Eleodes, The Beetle That Stands On His Head
ANY one who has traveled much in the region west of the Mississippi, especially in the South-western United States or Lower California, must have often seen the curiously behaved and pungent-odored pinacate beetles or tumble-bugs (Eleodes).
Mason Bees
As I turned into the little trail and climbed the steep, rock-strewn slope that leads up to the entrance of the precipitous caņon behind my house, the herb-scented winds that blew so steadily from off the warm sands bore to me the hum of industrious bees.
Desert Bighorn And Near Relatives
IN the most inaccessible canons, and on the rugged, barren, and desolate heights of those isolated mountains of mystic solitude which thrust their serrated pinnacles and roughened shoulders upward from the level of the desert plains, dwells the largest and most majestic of desert animals, the desert bighorn.
Don Coyote
WHETHER out of curiosity or contempt every-body seems to be interested in the ways and doings of the clever coyote. His ability to raid hen-roosts successfully without being caught, and his cunning in combination with his seeming cowardice, have brought him into disrepute among all people. Perhaps no Western animal has had so many cursings breathed upon him.
Battle Of The Reptiles
I VIVIDLY remember the well-meaning lady who, after listening for two months to a course of lectures on Natural History at one of our summer resorts, exclaimed, by way of showing her interest and appreciation of the lecturer.
WHAT memories of lovely desert spring days the name of this bird awakens! One can hardly recall a walk then taken when one or more of these stately bird sentinels were not seen gracing the topmost twigs of some mesquite tree.
Latrodectus, The Poisonous
OF all the spiders feared by man to-day few have the black reputation of those belonging to the genus Latrodectus. The much-feared malmignatte of southern Europe, the dreaded karakurte of southeastern Russia, the kapito of New Zealand, the vancoho of Madagascar, and our own American black widow are all spiders of this genus.
Le Conte Thrasher
IF you want to see a bird that can run, you must watch for the little brownish bird that's got a long sickle bill, - said Charlie, my cowboy friend, with whom I had been talking about the fleet-footedness of the comical road-runner.
Gnatcatchers And Verdins
THE plumbeous (lead-colored) gnatcatchers, though not the smallest of the desert bird pygmies, are surely its noisiest scolders. Their raspish song, anything but musical, is uttered with such frequency and in such a determined and defiant tone that it always sounds as if these midget birds were berating and throwing challenges to everybody in the neighborhood.
Desert Lynx
WILD CATS or desert lynxes are plentifully found over almost the whole desert region of the Southwest. They are especially abundant along the western borders of the desert, where the brushy foothills of the high mountain ranges afford them abundant shelter and a good supply of food.
Desert White-crowned Sparrow
Now that the desert white-crowns have returned, and we hear their earnest and cheerful songs from almost every weed and brush tangle, we know that autumn days have come for good. With the arrival of the warm spring days they left us, and all summer they have been foraging in far Northern meadows and busying themselves with the important work of rearing families.
Black-tailed Hare
AMONG the smaller animal folk of the arid Southwest, the black-tailed hare or desert jack rabbit, is the paragon of racers. His only rival is the desert sand-lapper, that swift-footed lizard that seems to run over ground as birds fly through air.
Callisaurus, The Gridiron-tailed Lizard
SPEEDING like greased lightning is hardly a figurative expression when applied to that active and agile saurian, the gridiron-tailed lizard.
Sauromalus, The Chuckwalla
THIS morning old man chuckwalla came out of his winter hiding looking as wrinkled and shriveled as a withered apple.
HE is the most vicious in appearance, most unusual in habit, and most feared by man of all the reptiles of the desert. He is so tiny that he seems made for a plaything, yet there is no man who is not ready to reckon him a beast of pro-portions when the measure of horribleness is applied and not the rule of girth or length.
Testudo, The Desert Tortoise
IT is interesting to imagine the frame of mind of those early Western travelers who, wholly ignorant of the existence of dry-land tortoises, espied for the first time these queer turtle-like creatures shuffling clumsily across their trail.
MATA VENADO ! mata venado ! - screamed a Mexican laborer as he hastily jumped up from his seat by the camp-fire. Judging from his excitment I might have expected to see some reptile as big as a rattlesnake crawling out from the place where he sat.
Desert Horned Lizard
ALL those who have walked abroad on the desert at all observantly must have met that little lizard of the sands which has achieved its fame under the name of the horned toad.
Spilogale, The Spotted Skunk
THE spotted skunk is an industrious, quick-witted, brave little animal. Few men give the credit that is due her for her good behavior under trying circumstances, her quiet affection and general inoffensiveness.
The Blessed Virgin Mary
FOUR thousand years had elapsed since the fall of our first parents, and the promise of a Saviour was about to be fulfilled. And as the dawn precedes the day, so Mary, the mother of the Saviour, preceded the Sun of Justice, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and her Son.
Birth Of Jesus
Providence foreordained from all eternity that the Saviour of the world should be born in Bethlehem, the city of David. It was concerning this city that, more than seven hundred years before Christ, the following prophecy was pronounced...
Three Wise Men From The East Adore The Infant Saviour
ST. MATTHEW describes the coming of the Wise Men from the East to adore the infant Saviour as follows : When Jesus therefore was born in Bethlehem of Juda, in the days of King Herod, behold there came Wise Men from the East to Jerusalem, saying: Where is He that is born king of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East, and are come to adore Him.
Presentation Of Jesus In The Temple
AFTER the birth of a son, Jewish mothers had to pass forty days in seclusion to await the day of their purification, and of their child's presentation in the Temple. The law required every mother to offer, on this occasion, a lamb one year old, or, if she were poor, a pair of turtle-doves or young pigeons.
Flight Into Egypt
THE sword which, according to Simeon's prophecy, was to pierce the Blessed Virgin's soul, soon made itself felt. Not long after the departure of the Wise Men, " behold an angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph, saying: Arise and take the Child and His mother, and fly into Egypt, and be there until I shall tell thee.
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