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When the national guard of the northern states reached the Mexican border on and about the first part of July, the natural and climatic conditions encountered were entirely new and unusual to men unaccustomed to that type of outdoor life. In the section called the "Magic Valley," embracing the towns of McAllen, Mission City and Pharr, where the New York guard was stationed, the country is arid and one of the most barren regions of the south. Cactus, mesquite and sage, with Spanish bayonets and daggers scattered here and there, comprised the only growth that flourished. Vegetation and grass were so sparse, more especially in the dry weather, that animals required an extensive area for grazing. One of the interesting features was the variety of insects and reptiles injurious or poisonous to man. During the earlier days, there were many tales told of the "deadly" rattlesnakes, centipedes, tarantulas, spiders and
Coughlan J. SOME INSECTS AND REPTILES ON THE BORDER. JAMA. 1917;LXVIII(21):1549–1550. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.04270050251013
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