Running fires are set everywhere, with a view to clearing the ground of prostrate trunks, to facilitate the movements of the flocks and improve the pastures. The entire forest belt is thus swept and devastated from one extremity of the range to the other, and, with the exception of the resinous Pinus contorta, Sequoia suffers most of all.
"A Westfalia ham makes a man drink; drink quenches thirst: ergo a Westfalia ham quenches thirst." If these ridiculous subtleties, "Contorta et aculeata sophismata," as Cicero calls them, are designed to possess him with an untruth, they are dangerous; but if they signify no more than only to make him laugh, I do not see why a man need to be fortified against them.
Nearly allied to these is History, which conducts her narratives with elegance and ease, and now and then sketches out a country, or a battle. Ward has made the following remark: "Sentences, with respect to their form or composition, are distinguished into two sorts, called by Cicero tracta, strait or direct, and contorta, bent or winding.
And yet, coming to close fight, I should think they would also damage the assailant, and that the camp being as it were planted with these flaming truncheons, would produce a common inconvenience to the whole crowd: "Magnum stridens contorta Phalarica venit, Fulminis acta modo."
The "tamarac pine" or black pine, as the variety of P. contorta is called here, is yellowish-green, in marked contrast with the dark lichen-draped spruce which grows above the pine at a height of about two thousand feet, in groves and belts where it has escaped fire and snow avalanches.
It is first met growing in company with Pinus contorta, var.
Such trees as there are here possess unusual interest; approaching the crest of the mountains one finds a scattered growth of pines the Coulter, ponderosa, Jeffrey's, the glorious sugar pine, the Pinus contorta, and Pinus flexilis, the single leaf or nut pine, and, in scattered tracts, the queer little knob-cone pine.
The woods here are without a trace of those deep accumulations of mosses, leaves, and decaying trunks which make so damp and unclearable mass in the coast forests. Whole mountain-sides are covered with gray moss and lichens where the forest has been utterly destroyed. The river-bank cottonwoods are also smaller, and the birch and contorta pines mingle freely with the coast hemlock and spruce.
Pecten Valoniensis. Dfr. 1/2 natural size. Portrush, Ireland, etc. Avicula contorta. Portlock. Portrush, Ireland, etc. Natural size. The principal member of this group has been called by Dr. Wright the Avicula contorta bed, as this shell is very abundant, and has a wide range in Europe.
Though apparently it is perfectly bald, there are four clumps of pines growing on the summit, representing three species, Pinus albicaulis, P. contorta and P. ponderosa, var. Jeffreyi all three, of course, repressed and storm-beaten.