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

By Gregory McNamee

Following the version of the medieval Latin bestiaries, Gregory McNamee has written a ebook instantaneously naturalistic, folkloristic, and literary, made of 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 produce their typical lives and histories vividly to the web page.

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We have ample industries to fuel our fears: plenty of psycho films, plenty of scare-tactic headline writers and doomsayers, plenty of insurance companies that carefully nurture the image that life can, with the proper policy, be made free of risk. Apis mellifera scutellata has nested in this panic. It's a creature to be regarded with healthy respect, and at arm's length, viewed from a safe distance as it hives along desert canyon walls and the high branches of mesquite trees. But let us remember that only six decades have passed since black widows threatened to conquer the earth.

S. Department of Agriculture's fire-ant laboratory in Gulfport, Miss. " So far, the Arizona Department of Agriculture has been able to eradicate every colony found in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Ants that arrived in the soil of plants from landscaping nurseries in the Southeast briefly infested a few Phoenix-area nurseries and even The Phoenician resort. The state's main defenses against the ants are inspectors who check trucks at border stations and examine nursery stock from infested states.

These creatures first arrived from the South Amer- Page 5 ican tropics into the American drylands, having hitched a ride on banana freighters that landed in Mobile, Alabama, only sixty years ago. Their remarkably fast spread is an example of the adaptability of the ants, and other social insects, and cause for a scare, as the Associated Press reported on June 12, 1995: PHOENIXImported red fire ants are making their way toward Arizona, where experts say they are bound to become a common pest. The insects, known to be more harmful than "killer" bees [see Bees], are native to South America and reached this country by ship during the 1930s.

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