They are never in a hurry

  • The most striking and characteristic part of this widely varied vegetation are the cactaceae--strange, leafless, old-fashioned plants with beautiful flowers and fruit, in every way able and admirable Replica Oakley sunglasses.  While grimly defending themselves with innumerable barbed spears, they offer both food and drink to man and beast.  Their juicy globes and disks and fluted cylindrical columns are almost the only desert wells that never go dry, and they always seem to rejoice the more and grow plumper and juicier the hotter the sunshine and sand.  Some are spherical, like rolled-up porcupines, crouching in rock-hollows beneath a mist of gray lances, unmoved by the wildest winds.  Others, standing as erect as bushes and trees or tall branchless pillars crowned with magnificent flowers, their prickly armor sparkling, look boldly abroad over the glaring desert, making the strangest forests ever seen or dreamed of.  Cereus giganteus, the grim chief of the desert tribe, is often thirty or forty feet high in southern Arizona.  Several species of tree yuccas in the same desert, laden in early spring with superb white lilies, form forests hardly less wonderful, though here they grow singly or in small lonely groves.  The low, almost stemless Yucca baccata, with beautiful lily flowers and sweet banana-like fruit, prized by the Indians, is common along the canyon rim, growing on lean, rocky soil beneath mountain mahogany, nut pines, and junipers, beside dense flowery mats of Spiraea caespitosa and the beautiful pinnate-leaved Spiraea millefolia.  The nut pine (Pinus edulis) scattered along the upper slopes and roofs of the canyon buildings, is the principal tree of the strange dwarf Coconino Forest knockoff oakleys.  It is a picturesque stub of a pine about twenty-five feet high, usually with dead, lichened limbs thrust through its rounded head, and grows on crags and fissured rock tables, braving heat and frost, snow and drought, and continuing patiently, faithfully fruitful for centuries.  Indians and insects and almost every desert bird and beast come to it to be fed.

    To civilized people from corn and cattle and wheat-field countries the canyon at first sight seems as uninhabitable as a glacier crevasse, utterly silent and barren.  Nevertheless it is the home of the multitude of our fellow-mortals, men as well as animals and plants.  Centuries ago it was inhabited by tribes of Indians, who, long before Columbus saw America, built thousands of stone houses in its crags, and large ones, some of them several stories high, with hundreds of rooms, on the mesas of the adjacent regions.  Their cliff-dwellings fake oakleys, almost numberless, are still to be seen in the canyon, scattered along both sides from top to bottom and throughout its entire length, built of stone and mortar in seams and fissures like swallows' nests, or on isolated ridges and peaks.  The ruins of larger buildings are found on open spots by the river, but most of them aloft on the brink of the wildest, giddiest precipices, sites evidently chosen for safety from enemies, and seemingly accessible only to the birds of the air.  Many caves were also used as dwelling-places, as were mere seams on cliff-fronts  formed by unequal weathering and with or without outer or side walls; and some of them were covered with colored pictures of animals.  The most interesting of these cliff-dwellings had pathetic little ribbon-like strips of garden on narrow terraces, where irrigating water could be carried to them--most romantic of sky-gardens, but eloquent of hard times.

    In recesses along the river and on the first plateau flats above its gorge were fields and gardens of considerable size, where irrigating ditches may still be traced.  Some of these ancient gardens are still cultivated by Indians replica oakleys, descendants of cliff-dweller

    s, who raise corn, squashes, melons, potatoes, etc., to reinforce the produce of the many wild food-furnishing plants--nuts, beans, berries, yucca and cactus fruits, grass and sunflower seeds, etc.--and the flesh of animals--deer,  rabbits, lizards, etc.  The canyon Indians I have met here seem to be living much as did their ancestors, though not now driven into rock-dens.  They are able, erect men, with commanding eyes, which nothing that they wish to see can escape.  They are never in a hurry, have a strikingly measured, deliberate, bearish manner of moving the limbs and turning the head, are capable of enduring weather, thirst, hunger, and over-abundance, and are blessed with stomachs which triumph over everything the wilderness may offer.  Evidently their lives are not bitter.