“Nothing the desert produces expresses it better than the unhappy growth of the tree yuccas. Tormented, thin forests of it stalk drearily in the high mesas, particularly in that triangular slip that fans out eastward from the meeting of the Sierras and coastwise hills where the first swings across the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley. The yucca bristles with bayonet-pointed leavesdull green, growing shaggy with age, tipped with panicles of fetid, greenish bloom. After death, which is slow, the ghosty hollow network of its woody skeleton, with hardly power to rot makes the moonlight fearful...”Found at Coyote Crossing, via Salmagundi and Uncertain Times.
– Mary Austin on Joshua trees, from The Land of Little Rain, 1903.
(Reposted from 2010 for Arbor Day 2015)