The Land of Little Rain

Mary Hunter Austin (1868 - 1934)

The Land of Little Rain is a book of sketches which portray the high desert country of southern California, where the Sierras descend into the Mojave Desert. Mary Austin finds beauty in the harsh landscape: "This is the sense of the desert hills--that there is room enough and time enough. . . The treeless spaces uncramp the soul." Her story begins with the water trails that lead toward the few life giving springs--the way marked for men by ancient Indian pictographs. Life and death play out at these springs. Rabbits fall prey to the coyote; buzzards hang heavily in the sky above. She then writes of individuals who eke out their living in this land of scarce resources--an itinerant gold prospector, a sheepherder, a blind Indian basket maker. Austin's spare prose creates unforgettable vignettes: "Choose a hill country for storms. . . I remember one night of thunderous rain made unendurably mournful by the houseless cry of a cougar whose lair, and perhaps his family, had been buried under a slide of broken boulders . . ." Anyone who sees beauty in the Southwestern deserts, or who just enjoys good nature writing, will savor The Land of Little Rain. ( Summary by Sue Anderson )

Genre(s): Nature, Travel & Geography

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 01 The Land of Little Rain Sue Anderson
Play 02 Water Trails of the Ceriso Sue Anderson
Play 03 The Scavengers Sue Anderson
Play 04 The Pocket Hunter Sue Anderson
Play 05 Shoshone Land Sue Anderson
Play 06 Jimville - A Bret Harte Town Sue Anderson
Play 07 My Neighbor's Field Sue Anderson
Play 08 The Mesa Trail Sue Anderson
Play 09 The Basket Maker Sue Anderson
Play 10 The Streets of the Mountains Sue Anderson
Play 11 Water Borders Sue Anderson
Play 12 Other Water Borders Sue Anderson
Play 13 Nurslings of the Sky Sue Anderson
Play 14 The Little Town of the Grape Vines Sue Anderson