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THE OUTDOOR NATURE CLUB of HOUSTON, TEXAS
f alking With
By R. A. SELL
Alone with John Burroughs. "Yes.
You lead but slow, leisurely." And
"leisurely" we followed the narrow trail
through the tangled alders that almost
folded themselves against the ledges of
vine-covered rocks. I say "alone" for
John Burroughs did not feel the necessity of entertaining me, or anyone else.
Not that he was unfriendly—far from
it—but that he was preoccupied; he did
not go to the woods to "gabble," especially when it was a new field—trees,
ferns, birds, wild flowers, butterflies that
were unusual, if not unfamiliar.
He would look, listen, test the air, and
in one instance, at least, he tasted a
leaf to be sure that it was sweet bay.
We came to the top of the first ridge
where there was a considerable open
• ace. "Let's rest our packs and look
ut a bit." Posing on a dead limb, a
lifornia quail, an aristocrat, a plumed
Knight, was not nervous.
"Don's had a bad night."
Carefully, I trained my field glasses
on the bird. But it was only after some
explanations and a more careful survey
that I was able to see what the great
naturalist had noted at first: The bird
was not standing erect, and the wing-
shoulders were drooping slightly.
Edwin Markham, the poet, famed for
"The Man With the Hoe," was with a
party who walked up the hill past the
Greek Theater to see the crack in the
ground made by the San Francisco earthquake. A small, frail man, white hair
and beard, his eyes lit up; he took the
bit of volcanic rock that I handed him
and explained, "From the bowels of the
earth, and this ledge might have dropped
into the sea. 0 ye little men and little
trouble! Earth is a big mill."
Joaquin Miller was in bed. It was
• rly noon; we had walked from the
line in Oakland to the "Heights,"
yffle of the "Poet of the Sierras." While
his wife held the door open, the poet
looked at us, stared inquiringly, belligerently; in the poetic mood, propped up
in bed, under the spell of the divine af-
(Continued on Page 2, Second Column)
By JUDD MORTIMER LEWIS
I must go out every week or two
Where fields are wide and the skies are
Where trees have spread out their boughs
A resting place in their cooling shade,
Where bayous lie in the summer sun
And little ripples awake and run
Before each breeze, and where flowers
And weight the air with their sweet
I must get out and sprawl out and lie
Beneath a tree and see bits of sky
Between the boughs, and must lie there
Where there are shadows and sun and
And are butterflies and are honeybees,
And see the purple of distant trees
Across the plains, and hawks sail high
On moveless pinions against the sky.
I must do that every week or two
To make the lines of my life run true;
To step aside from the toil and fight
For my daily bread, and to get the light
Of distance and of perspective true
On daily things which I know and do;
That way all of life's hurts and stings
Grow small and fit in the scheme of
By LUCILE D. GOODLETT
Author of "Walk God's Chillun"
Spring brought out a paint brush
And softened it in dew,
To splash her wide green palette,
With a smear of feather blue,
And not content with beauty,
That was all too sweet to hear,
She dipped it deep in In-di-an red
And daubed it here and there,
Then looking for a lonely place,
To let her palette lie,
She chose the lap of Texas
Underneath an April sky.
When Mr. and Mrs. L. H. Daingerfield
left last summer for their new home in
Los Angeles, a group of friends among
the camera brigade presented them with
an album full of pictures of people,
places and natural objects familiar while
they were our neighbors in Houston. The
Club deferred official action until its annual meeting this January, when Mr.
Daingerfield was, by unanimous vote,
elected Honorary Vice President, for life.
A Wasp Called
By CARL V. JARRELL
A visitor arrayed in all her pristine
beauty, came into my office recently. She
was prim and precise. Her faceted eye
sparkled with a vision of her destiny.
Her ancestry dates back, perhaps, to the
beginning of time. She is one of the
more than three and one-half million
species in the world, and a member of
a society more numerous than all the
other living things of Earth. She is a
near relative of the family Pelopaeus
Coeruleus, a female of the solitary variety and a builder of homes—a wasp
called the mud-dauber.
This sprightly creature first saw the
light of day from the portals of a modest clay home, which her mother had
builded for her children the season before. The time had now come when she,
too, must do likewise, in answer to the
eternal urge that was throbbing in her
heart. She flew into my office through
an open window, and casually inspected
the premises. She selected a location
for her home on the wall above my desk
and presently began to build exactly as
had countless others of her kind before
her. For seven weeks she was to be
my daily guest.
She Begins to Build a Home
This brown streak of animation loses
no time in getting started. She selects
moist earth that is suited to her needs,
and adds to it a liquid cement which
she exudes from her body as required.
This mortar mixture is then fashioned
into a ball about the size of a pea. This
she carefully moulds into place in the
construction of a room or cell as an individual nursery, and habitat for her offspring. The room is something more
than one "inch long by one-quarter inch
in diameter. About twenty-five loads of
mortar are required to complete one
room. The actual building time is three
hours and is completed at exactly high
noon each day. One end of the room is
left open to dry and to season, until
the evening shadows appear.
The industrious worker, then returns
to close the aperture as much as to say,
(Continued on Page 3, First Column)