Folklore Mythology

Download A Desert Bestiary: Folklore, Literature, and Ecological by Gregory McNamee PDF

By Gregory McNamee

Following the version of the medieval Latin bestiaries, Gregory McNamee has written a booklet straight away naturalistic, folkloristic, and literary, made from brief essays on forty-three animals of the world’s deserts. those essays talk about the creatures as they're and as they're imagined, and convey their traditional lives and histories vividly to the web page.

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Additional info for A Desert Bestiary: Folklore, Literature, and Ecological Thought from the World's Dry Places

Example text

The result is that native honey is being driven off the market. To fight this, the heads of the largest commercial bee farms in the United States, most of them smack in the middle of South Dakota, want to see Africanized bees brought to the north country. The improved yield may help lower costs and make American honey competitive against Chinese imports, the product of a country with an appalling human-rights record and no modern tradition of industrial quality in any event. Let Africanized bees do their bit to breed better beekeepers in this country, in other words.

The risk of human deaths from either of the easily provoked insects mainly is limited to a small percentage of the population allergic to venom. Besides attacking pets and newborn livestock, the South American fire ants kill other insects, birds, rabbits and reptiles. They are attracted to electrical current and have been known to chew through wires and damage outdoor appliances, such as air conditioners. It is hard to imagine that these fearful fire ants will find a champion such as Albert Schweitzer, who once told a young Sahelian boy he witnessed torturing an ant, as at the beginning of Sam Peckinpah's film The Wild Bunch, "That's my private ant.

The thinking was that if the availability of water increased, then the area's natural populations of bighorn sheep and pronghorn antelope (Antilocapra americana) would also grow. In less than a decade, the famed desert-walker and Cabeza Prieta habitué Bill Broyles reports, water holes increased by a third, and the water available by more than 300 Page 21 Page 22 percent. Yet the bighorn and pronghorn populations did not increase, leading biologists to conclude that these animals may not drink water, as such, but rather derive their water from the plant food and even the preternaturally dry air of the desert.

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