By David Rains Wallace
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Additional resources for Chuckwalla Land: The Riddle of California’s Desert
Nor do the cardon’s roots go very deep so that it can seek moisture far below the soil surface, because the tree keeps its roots near the surface to the extent that some are visible protruding from the earth. When a hurricane knocks some down, one sees that the roots are near the surface or a little lower. Since the cardon’s copious moisture doesn’t come from any of these things, then from what could it come? This seems a problem worth the attention of modern savants, so inquir ing as skillful investigators of nature.
They have but little foliage, and that of yellowish gray; the wood is brittle, thorny, and so destitute of sap that it burns as readily as other wood does when dry. Every few years there is a wet winter, when the land of even these deserts gets soaked. Then these bushes grow. When 36 Descriptive Confusion it dries, they cease to put forth much fresh foliage or add much new wood, but they do not die—their vitality seems suspended. A drought of several years may elapse, and when at last the rains come, they revive into life again!
Manly went into the desert a levelheaded man, as his eventual success in getting most of his starving party out demonstrated. . All seemed happy and content, and such a scene of abundance and rich plenty and comfort bursting thus upon our eyes, which for months had seen only the desolation and sadness of the desert, was like getting a glimpse of paradise, and tears of joy ran down our faces. five An Evolutionary Backwater As I’ve said, the California desert has connections with others.