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194408 Desert Magazine 1944 August

194408 Desert Magazine 1944 August

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Published by: dm1937 on Feb 21, 2008
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THE
MAGAZINE
AUGUST25 CENTS
#«»...
 
TOV
CLCCO
C/n
It
ee5 an
By MARY BEAL
r
RUST an Indian to discover the useful qualities of theplants within his reach and to adapt them to his needs.It was the American native who originated the customof smoking tobacco. Tribes of the Southwest, as well as otherAmerican tribes, smoked the dried leaves of the available wildtobacco species, known botanically as Nicotiana, a genus of theNightshade or Potato family, which includes the various speciesgrown commercially. The aboriginal use of tobacco was chieflyin sacrificial rites to propitiate the Great Spirit. Present-day In-dians of the older generations who cling to ancestral traditionsstill have a reverent regard for these plants and use them in theirreligious ceremonies. Various tribes are reported to have chew-ed as well as smoked the wild tobaccos and some still do so.The dried leaves were pulverized in special small mortars andwhen used for chewing, water was added, or a bit of fat or pine-nuts to give a pleasing flavor. No doubt they had tastes in flavor-ing just as do gum-chewers nowadays. Because the wild to-baccos are very strong, most users preferred to add other ingre-dients, thus producing a mild mixture, for both smoking andchewing. It is definitely known that several tribes had cultivatedpatches of certain species. Undoubtedly the most widespread ofthe desert species is
Nicotiana trigonophylla
Commonly called Desert Tobacco. Sticky and malodorous"in the green," but in the dried state quite desirable to nativesmokers. It sends up one to several erect leafy stems from aperennial root-crown, a foot or two high, each with severalslender branches from the leaf axils. The herbage is bright greenand glandular-hairy, the sessile leaves oblong to ovate witheared bases, the margins entire but apt to be undulate, 2 to 5inches long, decreasing in size upward along the stem.The loosely clustered racemes are nearly naked, the creamy orgreenish-white flowers about an inch long, the corolla with aslender tube and constricted throat below a spreading limb ahalf inch or less wide, reflexed slightly as it ages. The flowersare open only during the daytime and may be found bloomingat almost any time of the year, most certainly in April and May.Very common on canyon walls and rocky mesas and along sandywashes, adapting itself to low and moderately high elevations inall the California desert areas, through Arizona and New Mex-ico to western Texas and down into Mexico.
Nicotiana attenuata
Dubbed "Coyote Tobacco" by early prospectors, a name com-monly in use at present. An annual species with the usual ill-smelling herbage, somewhat hairy and slightly glandular, thestems simple or branching, a foot or two high, in favorablesituations sometimes twice that height, rising erectly from a flat,basal rosette of oval, petioled leaves, 2 to 6 inches long, the stemleaves narrower and decreasing in size upward. The many whiteor greenish flowers, from 1 to IV2 inches long with slendertube, and limb a half inch wide or less, open in the evening andclose with the sunrise. Found blooming from May to Novem-ber. Quite common over most of Arizona from moderate tohigh elevations, extending north to Utah, east to Texas, throughmuch of California, favoring dry stream beds, washes and sandy
flats.
Nicotiana bigelovii
somewhat resembles
N. attenuata
but hasa very limited desert distribution—the western Mojave desert.You'll recognize it by its larger more showy flowers, the shal-lowly-lobed corolla limb an inch or two broad and the tubesometimes nearly 2 inches
long.
Tree
tobacco
is a
conspicuous
evergreen. Beal
photo.
Nicotiana clevelandii
Another night-blooming annual, a foot or two high, withsticky-hairy herbage, the leaves ovate to lanceolate, 1V2 to 5inches long, the basal ones petioled, the upper nearly sessile.The whitish corolla is noticeably shorter than those of the pre-ceding species, its tube
]
h
to %-inch long with a limb less than'/2-inch broad, shallowly lobed and folding up when the sunshines. The white of the corolla is often suffused with violet andthe linear calyx lobes are markedly unequal, the longer onessometimes twice as long as the tube. It is found rather frequent-ly along dry stream beds and sandy washes from low to moder-ately high altitudes in western Arizona and the Colorado desert,extending over the border into Lower California.
Nicotiana glauca
San Juan Tree, or Mexican Tobacco, or Tree Tobacco, de-viates from the usual run of tobacco species. It is a conspicuousevergreen, loosely-branching shrub, 6 to 15 feet tall, becominga small tree at times up to 20 feet. It seems to be as much athome on the desert as near the coast. Its slender gracefulbranches are generously supplied with handsome blue-greenfoliage, both leaves and stems quite hairless and noticeably veil-ed with a "bloom," and without the disagreeable odor of theforegoing species. It originated in Argentina and came to usby way of Mexico during the Mission period, brought along tomake a new environment more home-like, having quite a voguein early California gardens.The ovate leaves are thick and smooth, 2 to 8 inches long onrather long petioles. The flowers grow in panicles terminatingthe branchlets, often drooping. The slender tubular corolla,IV2 to nearly 2 inches long, is yellow, and constricted at thethroat just below the very narrow, slightly-flaring limb. Thesmooth ovate capsule is filled with many tiny brown rough seeds,so small they are like dust.Having escaped from cultivation it has run wild and spreadover much of California's and southern Arizona's warm dryareas and on eastward to Texas.
THE DESERT MAGAZINE
 
DESERT
• William Caruthers,
who
writes
an-
other Death Valley story
for
this issue,never
has
been satisfied
to do one
thingat
a
time. When
he
came
to
Californiafrom
his
native Tennessee
in 1905, he-
worked
on L. A.
Examiner
and
starteda much quoted pocket magazine,
The By-
stander, which became nucleus
of The
Classic Press, specializing
in
publishinghouse organs, booklets.
At
same time
he
edited
The
Rounder, first important
L. A.
theatrical magazine. This branched
into
writing
of
speeches
for
mayors
on
east-ern seaboard, prosecutors
in
middle west,political arguments
on
both sides; book-lets boosting subdivisions
in St.
Louis,fertilizers
in
Pittsburgh, biking powderand cereals.
He
then started fiction
and
fact writing
for
leading papers, maga-zines. After
he
discovered
the
desertabout
1926 he no
longer stayed
home
more hours than necessary
to
attend
to
business.
His
desert
is "a
stretch
of
landand
sky
where
the
nearest pavement
is
100 miles away."
Not
content with telling Desert read-ers,
in
this issue, what Southwest landforms looked like when
the
earth
was
young, Jerry Laudermilk will tell themnext what
the
weather would have beenlike
if
they
had
lived
a
couple
of
hundredmillion years
ago. He
calls
it
"fossilweather,"
for in a
variety
of
fossil formsscientists have found
the
clues
to the
kind
of
weather
the
desert
had
before
it
was
a
desert.• We've
had to
write many letters
ex-
plaining
to
anxious readers John Hilton'sabsence from Desert's pages.
His
fieldreport
on the
wartime state
of
Californiadeserts,
in
June issue,
was the
first
in
many months.
Now he has
another, soonto
be
published, about George
and Ken-
neth Holmes
and
their mining
in the
Castle Dome mountains
of
western
Ari-
zona. This
is a
picture
of
wartime miningwhich John feels
is
vital
for the
publicto
see.
Besides being
an
informative
ar-
ticle
on
lead mining,
it is a
warmly
hu-
man story, from
the
fabulous "Holmesluck"
to the
Queen
of
Castle Dome.• Richard
Van
Valkenburgh's next
con-
tribution
to
Desert
is the
story
of the
Navajo Squaw Dance, illustrated withdrawing
bv
Navajo artist Charles KeetsieShirley
and a map by
Norton Allen.
Al-
though widely known
by
name,
the
Squaw Dance actually
is
little known
by
the public. Desert readers will
be
takento
one of
these dances
in a
remote
Ari-
zona village
and
will learn from
the
tribesmen themselves
its
legendary originand significance.
CREED OF THE DESERT
By
JUNE LEMERT
PAXTON
Yucca Valley, CaliforniaI
may
lack things that
man has
made.To coax
the
traveler here;But
I
have courage, peace
and
health,
IUI
i
nave courage, peace
ai
The hopeless
one to
cheer.
Volume 7AUGUST, 1944Number 10COVERBOTANYCLOSE-UPSGEOLOGYRECREATIONMININGPOETRYART OF LIVINGHOBBYDESERT QUIZTRIUMPHLETTERSNEWSMININGHOBBYCRAFTSCOMMENTPHOTOGRAPHY
LITTLE NAVAJO MISS. Photograph by Hubert A.Lowman, Kansas City, Missouri.Desert Tobacco Grows on Trees and BushesByMARYBEAL 2Notes on Desert features and their writers ... 3Stone from Time's BeginningBy JERRY LAUDERMILK 5Swing your partner round 'n roundBy OREN ARNOLD 9Miner's Wife in the Copper HillsBy HELEN ASHLEY ANDERSON 13Desert Dreams, and other poems 16Desert Refuge, by MARSHAL SOUTH . . . .17He Found Beauty in SaltBy BERTHA GREELEY BROWN . ' . . . .19A test of your desert knowledge 22The Man Who Heard Music in the Desert DarknessBy WILLIAM CARUTHERS 23Comment from Desert Magazine readers ... 27Here and There on the Desert 29Current mining news .32Gems and Minerals—Edited by ARTHUR L. EATON 33Amateur Gem Cutter, by LELANDE QUICK ... 36Sahara Dairy, by RANDALL HENDERSON ... 37Campfire on the Utah RangeBy FRANK E. O'BRIEN 39
The Desert Magazine
is
published monthly
by the
Desert Publishing Company,
636
State Street,
El
Centro, California. Entered
as
second class matter October
11, 1987,
at
the post office
at El
Centro, California, under
the Act of
March
3, 1879.
Title registeredNo.
358866
in U. S.
Patent Office,
and
contents copyrighted
1944 by the
Desert
Fublishine
Company. Permission
to
reproduce contents must
be
secured
from
the
editor
in
writing.
RANDALL HENDERSON, Editor. LUCILE HARRIS, Associate Editor.
BESS STACY, Business Manager.
EVONNE HENDERSON, Circulation Manager.Unsolicited manuscripts
and
photographs submitted cannot
be
returned
or
acknowledgedunless full return postage
is
enclosed. Desert Magazine assumes
no
responsibility
for
damageor loss
of
manuscripts
or
photographs although
due
care will
be
exercised. Subscribers shouldsend notice
of
change
of
address
by the
first
of the
month preceding issue.
If
address
is un-
certain
by
that date, notify circulation department
to
hold copies.
SUBSCRIPTION RATESOneyear
....
$2.50
Canadian
subscriptions
25c
extra, foreign
50c
extra.Subscriptions
to
Army personnel outside U.S.A. must
be
mailed
in
conformity
with
P.O.D. Order
No.
19687.
Address correspondence
to
Desert Magazine,
636
State
St., El
Centro, California.
AUGUST, 1944

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