She set aside nine of the jars--three containing palm yucca strands, three containing soapweed
yucca strands, and three containing the combination strands to test strain over the next month.
As tribal cultures went, the Ahwahneechee were relatively sedentary (and therefore particularly despised by the Europeans), subsisting on black oak acorns, grubs, and on the trout scooped from the river, belly up, after the Indians poisoned the water with soapweed
. The dazzling meadow-floor of the valley they called (in the Miwok tongue) Ahwahnee, or "gaping mouth." Although its white eulogists, such as John Muir, supposed it was untouched and Edenic, it looked the way it did because of the Indians' repeated set-fires, which cleared it of brush and opened the space for grazing.
Other plants found on the control sites include soapweed
(Yucca angustifolia), sand sagebrush (Artemesia filifolia), and prickly pear cactus (Opuntia polyacantha).
Another impact of periodic droughts is the small number of shrubs present in this environment, which includes Atriplex canesens (saltbush), Chrysothamnus nauseosus (rabbit bush), Opuntia polyanthemos (plains prickly pear cactus) , and Yucca glauca (soapweed
(yucca) was ground into feed, and spines were burned off prickly pear cactus for the same purpose.
OPENING MORNING OF ANTELOPE season I slipped silently along a soapweed
ridge where I'd taken several antelope in previous years.
curtipendula); 5% shrubs, mostly Louisiana sagebrush (Artemesia ludoviciana), milkvetch (Astragalus crassicarpus), and other sages (Artemesia sp.); 20% forbs, mostly skunkbrush sumac (Rhus trilobata), broom snakeweed, (Gutierrezia sarothrae), and rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus nauseosus); and 5% cacti, mostly soapweed
(Yucca glauca) and plains prickly pear (Opuntia polycantha var.