"Strange growths of a strange land!

Heat, drouth, and starvation gnawing at their vitals month in and month out; and yet how determined to live, how determined to fulfill their destiny!

They keep fighting off the elements, the animals, the birds. Never by day or by night do they loose the armor or drop the spear point.

And yet with all the struggle they serenely blossom in season, perpetuate their kinds, and hand down the struggle of the newer generation with no jot of vigor abated, no tittle of hope dissipated.

Strange growths indeed! And yet strange, perhaps, only to us who have never known their untrumpeted history."

John C. Van Dyke "Cactus & Greasewood" taken from "The Desert" 1901