Man and Nature: Or, Physical Geography as Modified by Human Action

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Scribner, 1864 - Conservation of natural resources - 560 pages
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Page 246 - ... summer here and there a withered lavender, where all the springs are dried up, and where a dead silence, hardly broken by even the hum of an insect, prevails. But if a storm bursts forth, masses of water suddenly shoot from the mountain heights into the shattered gulfs, waste without irrigating, deluge without refreshing the soil they overflow in their swift descent, and leave it even more seared than it was from want of moisture. Man at last retires from the fearful desert, and I have, the present...
Page 72 - The design and construction of the outlet arrangements is one of the most important and at the same time most difficult features of the work.
Page 44 - The earth is fast becoming an unfit home for its noblest inhabitant, and another era of equal human crime and human improvidence, and of like duration with that through which traces...
Page 288 - The change in the native vegetation of the planted part of the heath was most remarkable, more than is generally seen in passing from one quite different soil to another ; not only the proportional numbers of the heath-plants were wholly changed, but twelve species of plants (not counting grasses and carices) flourished in the plantations which could not be found on the heath.
Page 44 - There are parts of Asia Minor, of Northern Africa, of Greece, and even of Alpine Europe, where the operation of causes set in action by man has brought the face of the earth to a desolation almost as complete as that of the moon ; and though, within that brief space of time which we call
Page iii - Language," &c. 8vo. cloth, 14s. " Mr. Marsh, well known as the author of two of the most scholarly works yet published on the English language, sets himself in excellent spirit, and with immense learning, to indicate the character, and, approximately, the extent of the changes produced by human action in the physical condition of the globe we inhabit.
Page 288 - In Staffordshire, on the estate of a relation, where I had ample means of investigation, there was a large and extremely barren heath, which had never been touched by the hand of man; but several hundred acres of exactly the same nature had been enclosed twenty-five years previously and planted with Scotch fir.
Page 207 - The spot is in the middle of a very steep pasture, inclining to the south. Eighty years ago the owner of the land, perceiving that young firs were shooting up in the upper part of it, determined to let them grow, and they soon formed a flourishing grove. "As soon as they were well grown, a fine spring appeared in place of the occasional rill, and furnished abundant water in the longest droughts. For forty or fifty years the spring was considered the best in the Clos du Doubs.
Page 3 - Vast forests have disappeared from mountain spurs and ridges ; the vegetable earth accumulated beneath the trees by the decay of leaves and fallen trunks; the soil of the alpine pastures, which skirted and indented the woods, and the mould of the upland fields, are washed away ; meadows once fertilized by irrigation are waste and unproductive...
Page 208 - Perry was victorious, was built at Old Portage, six miles north of Albion, and floated down to the lake. Now, in an ordinary stage of the water, a canoe or skiff can hardly pass down the stream.

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